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

Yet the Russians tied the game, essentially stalled until the end of regulation and extra time, and then won in a penalty shootout—in which skill plays second fiddle to luck. Gerald Eskenazi, WSJ, "I’m Sick of World Cup Fever," 9 July 2018 For much of the viewing public, national teams now play second fiddle to the popular professional leagues that have carved out lucrative audiences around the world. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "How the World Cup reflects the world," 14 June 2018 There were concerns that the Dutchman may be drawn away from the Camp Nou this summer after being forced to play second fiddle to regular Marc-Andre ter Stegen, with the likes of Bayern Munich monitoring the backup custodian. SI.com, "Jasper Cillessen Wants Barcelona Stay Despite Interest From Fellow European Superpowers," 23 Apr. 2018 Indeed, after decades of playing second fiddle to stocks,... Simon Constable, WSJ, "Two Trendy ‘Cash Phrases’," 3 Feb. 2019 That’s unknown but having what amounts to a third player in sound cards can only be good for PC audio ,which has always played second fiddle to sexier graphics cards, CPUs, and even storage. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "EVGA gets into sound cards with Nu Audio, a high-end board that delivers 'lifelike' gaming," 8 Jan. 2019 The Dumplin' actress' astronomical professional success constantly plays second fiddle to her personal life—and what the public thinks is wrong with it. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Jennifer Aniston Says the Idea of Having Kids Is 'Frightening' to Her," 7 Dec. 2018 So why, then, does the movie treat her as second fiddle? Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The Happytime Murders turns raunchy puppet comedy into inexplicably boring dreck," 23 Aug. 2018 With Deeney largely playing second fiddle and frustrations growing, and the latter finds himself in the centre of an alledged scandal, perhaps a fresh face up top is exactly what the Hornets need. SI.com, "Why the Prodigal Adalberto Peñaranda Could Make the Difference for Watford Next Season," 4 July 2018

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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Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for second fiddle

The first known use of second fiddle was in 1809

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