See more synonyms for sidetrack on
  1. any railroad track, other than a siding, auxiliary to the main track.

Origin of sidetrack

An Americanism dating back to 1825–35; side1 + track Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sidetracked

swerve, avert, veer, switch, deflect, digress, alter, change, redirect

Examples from the Web for sidetracked

Contemporary Examples of sidetracked

Historical Examples of sidetracked

  • However, she did not intend to be sidetracked or discouraged.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It is a short ride to where the cars are sidetracked, waiting.

    The Last Woman

    Ross Beeckman

  • The train was sidetracked here and there, and dragged along at a slow pace.

    Eben Holden

    Irving Bacheller

  • Stopped at every station and sidetracked for all the regular trains.

    Back Home

    Eugene Wood

  • Merry returned to the rehearsal lines from which they had sidetracked.

British Dictionary definitions for sidetracked


  1. to distract or be distracted from a main subject or topic
  1. US and Canadian a railway siding
  2. the act or an instance of sidetracking; digression
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 sidetracked



also side-track, "railway siding," 1835, from side (adj.) + track (n.). The verb meaning "to move (a train car) onto a sidetrack" is from 1874; figurative sense of "to divert from the main purpose" is attested from 1881. Related: Sidetracked.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper