verb (used without object), si·dled, si·dling.

to move sideways or obliquely.
to edge along furtively.


a sidling movement.

Origin of sidle

1690–1700; back formation from sideling (earlier spelling sidling misconstrued as present participle of a verb ending in -le)
Related formssi·dling·ly, adverbun·si·dling, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sidle

saunter, inch, tilt, ease, edge, veer

Examples from the Web for sidle

Contemporary Examples of sidle

Historical Examples of sidle

  • "You'll admit it is a tradition," said Saulisbury, glad of a chance to sidle away.

    Wayside Courtships

    Hamlin Garland

  • In the midst of her satisfaction she continued to sidle, and at last the cause was disclosed.

    A Room With A View

    E. M. Forster

  • Fillmore heaved a sigh of relief and began to sidle from the room.

  • Let us take notice too, of what lies side by sidle quietly in our own souls.

    Catharine Furze

    Mark Rutherford

  • Then Bess will sidle around me thinking she can get into the Sans.

British Dictionary definitions for sidle


verb (intr)

to move in a furtive or stealthy manner; edge along
to move along sideways


a sideways movement
Derived Formssidler, noun

Word Origin for sidle

C17: back formation from obsolete sideling sideways
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 sidle

"to move or go sideways," 1690s, back-formation from obsolete Middle English sidlyng (adv.) "obliquely, sideways; aslant; laterally" (early 14c., perhaps in Old English), from side (n.) + adverbial suffix -ling; altered on analogy of verbs ending in -le. Related: Sidled; sidling. Old English had sidlingweg (n.) "sidelong-way, oblique road."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper