second fiddle

noun

Definition of second fiddle

: one that plays a supporting or subservient role

Examples of second fiddle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web McIntosh redshirted at Notre Dame in 2016 and played second fiddle to future NFL running back Josh Adams in 2017. oregonlive, "Scouting the Cougars: 5 questions, prediction with a Washington State writer," 13 Nov. 2020 For a decade Xiaomi has played second fiddle to Huawei, a rival Chinese producer of handsets. The Economist, "Xiaomi takes advantage of Huawei’s woes," 5 Nov. 2020 That doesn't mean McConnell and his fellow conservatives would be content to play second fiddle. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Will Mitch McConnell still rule the Senate in 2021? Here are the possible scenarios," 4 Nov. 2020 The veep debates typically play second fiddle to the presidential contests, but with Trump's COVID-19 illness and Democratic nominee Joe Biden's age – a lot more attention will be on Pence and Harris. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "Pence | | Harris," 7 Oct. 2020 In battle, canons and sword fights play second fiddle to beautifully choreographed martial arts. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Even without Mushu, Disney ups remake game with ‘Mulan’," 4 Sep. 2020 For so much of the Stars’ postseason run so far, Benn-Seguin-Radulov have played second fiddle to scorers like Joe Pavelski and Denis Gurianov (both with six goals). Dallas News, "After playing second fiddle throughout postseason, Stars’ top line explodes in second-round opener to secure win over Avalanche," 23 Aug. 2020 Bonarda, called charbono in California, where there is little of it left, plays second fiddle to malbec in Argentina. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "This $10 Argentine red is ready to mingle with steak or burgers," 14 Aug. 2020 In either case, the American-policy dimensions of a TikTok divestiture would play second fiddle to the corporate benefits of a $1.6 trillion behemoth. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "For Whom the Tok Tiks," 6 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'second fiddle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of second fiddle

1809, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for second fiddle

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The first known use of second fiddle was in 1809

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Second fiddle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/second%20fiddle. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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