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sideline

[sahyd-lahyn]
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noun
  1. a line at the side of something.
  2. a business or activity pursued in addition to one's primary business; a second occupation.
  3. an additional or auxiliary line of goods: a grocery store with a sideline of household furnishings.
  4. Sports.
    1. either of the two lines defining the side boundaries of a field or court.
    2. sidelines,the area immediately beyond either sideline, where the substitute players sit.
  5. sidelines, the position or point of view taken by a person who observes an activity or situation but does not directly participate in it.
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verb (used with object), side·lined, side·lin·ing.
  1. to render incapable of participation, especially in anything involving vigorous, physical action, as a sport: An injury to his throwing arm sidelined the quarterback for two weeks.
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Origin of sideline

An Americanism dating back to 1685–95; side1 + line1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

recreationdiversionsubsidiaryhobbydistractionmoonlighting

Examples from the Web for sideline

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It seemed that the sideline of mountain-tops had a little light on them.

    Wandl the Invader

    Raymond King Cummings

  • Even then he had enough surplus energy to run a sideline in literature.

  • The midnight hours he spent in the pineal gland were only a sideline of his work.

    The Brain

    Alexander Blade

  • An elementary school teacher who taught music as a sideline, Gladys Thompson, organized an orchestra about 1928.

    Frying Pan Farm

    Elizabeth Brown Pryor

  • The business flourished and some one advised my friend that he should put in popcorn as a sideline.


British Dictionary definitions for sideline

sideline

noun
  1. sport a line that marks the side boundary of a playing area
  2. a subsidiary interest or source of income
  3. an auxiliary business activity or line of merchandise
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verb (tr)
  1. to prevent (a player) from taking part in a game
  2. to prevent (a person) from pursuing a particular activity, operation, career, etc
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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 sideline

n.

also side-line, "line on the side of a fish," 1768; "lines marking the limits of playing area" (on a football field, etc.), 1862, from side (adj.) + line (q.v.). Meaning "course of business aside from one's regular occupation" is from 1890. Railway sense is from 1890. The figurative sense of "position removed from active participation" is attested from 1934 (from the railway sense or from sports, because players who are not in the game stand along the sidelines). The verb meaning "put out of play" is from 1945. Related: Sidelined; sidelining.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper