verb (used without object), side·stepped, side·step·ping.

to step to one side.
to evade or avoid a decision, problem, or the like.

verb (used with object), side·stepped, side·step·ping.

to avoid or dodge by stepping aside.
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. 2019

Related Words for sidestep

skirt, avoid, evade, bypass, duck, fudge, pussyfoot, escape, elude, weasel, shake, shirk, ditch, juke

Examples from the Web for sidestep

Contemporary Examples of sidestep

Historical Examples of sidestep

  • It took us all night to sidestep that outrage, but we did it.

    At Good Old Siwash

    George Fitch

  • He saw that Cheever was quicker than he at the feint and the sidestep.

  • When a man has anything somebody gets it before he can sidestep.

    The Fighting Chance

    Robert W. Chambers

  • Maybe he could sidestep the lessons before she pinned him down.

    The Southerner

    Thomas Dixon

  • Cautiously, prepared for a lunge or a sidestep, Kazan advanced a little.


    James Oliver Curwood

British Dictionary definitions for sidestep


verb -steps, -stepping or -stepped

to step aside from or out of the way of (something)
(tr) to dodge or circumvent

noun side step

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 sidestep

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