verb (used with object), side·stepped, side·step·ping.
  1. to avoid or dodge by stepping aside.
  2. to evade or avoid (a decision, problem, or the like).

Origin of sidestep

An Americanism dating back to 1900–05
Related formsside·step·per, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for side-stepping

Contemporary Examples of side-stepping

  • So the triumph of this week's ruling was side-stepping the Rabbinate altogether and getting the civil courts to settle the issue.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Toast To Gay Divorce In Israel

    Brian Schaefer

    December 6, 2012

Historical Examples of side-stepping

  • Lennon barely saved himself by the quickest of side-stepping.

    Bloom of Cactus

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • "I just came from the camp," said Tom, side-stepping the real object of his trip.

    Tom Slade with the Colors

    Percy K. Fitzhugh

  • "I be willing to try," said Uncle, perceiving that he had room for side-stepping.

    The Soul of Susan Yellam

    Horace Annesley Vachell

  • So I just wanted to say there's no side-stepping, no four-flushing, at this end of the trip!

    Never-Fail Blake

    Arthur Stringer

  • He can evade it by side-stepping, by jumping over, or by dragging another fellow into it.

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

British Dictionary definitions for side-stepping


verb -steps, -stepping or -stepped
  1. to step aside from or out of the way of (something)
  2. (tr) to dodge or circumvent
noun side step
  1. a movement to one side, as in dancing, boxing, etc
Derived Formssidestepper, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for side-stepping



also side-step, 1757, "a stepping to the side" (originally in military drill), from side (adj.) + step (n.). The verb is recorded from 1895; the figurative sense is attested from 1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper