side·​light ˈsīd-ˌlīt How to pronounce sidelight (audio)
: light coming or produced from the side
: incidental light or information
: the red light on the port bow or the green light on the starboard bow carried by ships underway at night

Examples of sidelight in a Sentence

The book includes some amusing sidelights about his childhood.
Recent Examples on the Web But those were sidelights. Bruce Weber, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2023 But his comic persona was a sidelight. Dan Schlossberg, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 But most of my income does not relate to blogging, this is definitely a sidelight. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 6 Mar. 2013 An interesting sidelight is that in both the payoff and the retention cases, the deferred annuity option generates more spendable funds than the 4% rule option. Jack Guttentag, Forbes, 12 Aug. 2022 Also, a sidelight of curiosity is that Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Kate Middleton) has a maternal grandmother who comes from a lineage of laborers and miners. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 29 Apr. 2011 He is fundamentally steeped in ants, and people are a sidelight. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 30 Mar. 2013 Magnetic sidelight blockers, which ship in the kit, will turn it into a fully immersive heads-up display. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 11 Oct. 2022 Occupying the museum’s eighth floor, the array provides a sidelight (or prequel) to the Whitney’s selection of touchstone pieces from its collection, dating from 1900 to 1965, on the seventh floor. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sidelight.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sidelight was in 1610

Dictionary Entries Near sidelight

Cite this Entry

“Sidelight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


side·​light -ˌlīt How to pronounce sidelight (audio)
: light from the side
: incidental or extra information
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!