second fiddle


Definition of second fiddle 

: one that plays a supporting or subservient role

Examples of second fiddle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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., "Why the Prodigal Adalberto Peñaranda Could Make the Difference for Watford Next Season," 4 July 2018 Rose was included in Gareth Southgate’s successful England squad but had to play second fiddle to Ashley Young at this summer’s World Cup., "Tottenham Receive Boost in Bid for Spanish Full Back With Benfica Willing to Sell," 10 July 2018 After four years in the NBA — the last playing second fiddle in Oklahoma City to the most ball-dominant player in league history — Oladipo isn't interested in playing the role of sidekick anymore. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "One year ago, the Victor Oladipo trade happened. Here's how he gave Pacers fans hope again.," 29 June 2018 The Dutch international has played second fiddle to Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the last two years, and wants to reestablish himself as a number one., "Arsenal & Liverpool Target Cillessen Desperate for Barca Exit As €40m Release Clause Comes to Light," 12 June 2018 Father's Day always plays second fiddle to Mother's Day., "What To Get The Dad Who Eats Everything This Father's Day," 31 May 2018 His loss of form resulted in him playing second fiddle to Olivier Giroud by the end of the campaign, while he was also omitted from Spain's World Cup squad., "Chelsea Seeking Ambitious €110m Swap Deal to Exchange Morata for Serie A Superstar," 25 May 2018 Just like the drivers who’ve come so close, IndyCar’s Iceman has carried podium finishes with him that saw him play second fiddle to the day’s recipient of fans’ praise. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Scott Dixon’s thirst for a second Indy 500 win has only grown greater," 22 May 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

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for second fiddle

The first known use of second fiddle was in 1809

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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