side·​line | \ ˈsīd-ˌlīn How to pronounce sideline (audio) \

Definition of sideline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a line at right angles to a goal line or end line and marking a side of a court or field of play for athletic games
2a : a line of goods sold in addition to one's principal line
b : a business or activity pursued in addition to one's regular occupation
3a : the space immediately outside the lines along either side of an athletic field or court
b : a sphere of little or no participation or activity usually used in plural


sidelined; sidelining; sidelines

Definition of sideline (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to put out of action : put on the sidelines

Examples of sideline in a Sentence


She makes and sells jewelry as a sideline.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With the clock having moved past full time of 80 minutes, Legion captain Joe Pietersen had a tough angle from the sideline to make the 2-point conversion from 20 meters. Griff Lacey / San Diego Legion, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Legion win in closing seconds, will host MLR championship match," 9 June 2019 Burnham and Pike talk about the USS Enterprise's role in the Federation-Klingon war, which essentially relegated them to the sidelines, and Burnham tells Pike about her intense desire to see Spock. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Season Two Wants You to Forget About Season One," 18 Jan. 2019 Noting that the coming elections are not for the White House, Obama highlighted a tendency among some constituents to sit on the sidelines and not vote. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Obama campaigns for Pennsylvania Dems: 'On Nov. 6, you have a chance to restore some sanity to our politics'," 21 Sep. 2018 With Pat Riley’s slicked-back hair and designer suits, Jack Nicholson grinning on the sidelines and an up-tempo offense that was different than anything anyone had ever seen, the Showtime Lakers transcended sport. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Lakers hope LeBron will help them reclaim spotlight of Showtime era," 2 July 2018 An ambitious program to get millions of people off the labor market sidelines and into employment while crushing the conservative drive to reinflict the mistakes of welfare reform on America’s most vulnerable people is a really good idea. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Why politicians should promise every American a job," 27 Apr. 2018 But after review, it was ruled that the heels of Holiday's Kobe 1s were hovering above the sidelines and his team got the ball back. William Guillory,, "10 best moments of Pelicans' first-round sweep of Trail Blazers," 24 Apr. 2018 Watching from the sideline, Monaco coach Thierry Henry could barely contain his frustration. Jerome Pugmire, The Seattle Times, "Fabregas almost creates winner as Monaco draws at Marseille," 13 Jan. 2019 Their working agreement has helped vault intermodal transport from a sideline into a multibillion-dollar business anchoring revenues at both companies. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "BNSF Railway, Trucker J.B. Hunt Locked in Freight Revenue Dispute," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Utility officials also have stressed that power turbines sidelined in summer 2017 have been patched, providing more than enough power to run the drainage system. Beau Evans,, "Operator logs show more S&WB power, pump issues than first disclosed," 9 June 2019 Wood was sidelined for the final month of spring training with back spasms and remains on the 60-day injured list. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds Manager David Bell looking to find more playing time for José Peraza," 8 June 2019 Kevin Durant has remained sidelined for the nine playoff games since nursing a strained right calf against Houston in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals a month ago. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "Warriors explain what it will take to overcome 3-1 series deficit to Raptors," 8 June 2019 Closer Wade Davis, sidelined since May 19 with a left oblique strain, also was activated Friday. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon, Wade Davis return from IL for Mets series," 7 June 2019 Rebennack, a New Orleans icon, won six Grammy awards, although his career was sidelined at times by drugs. Fox News, "New Orleans musician Dr. John dead at 77, family says," 7 June 2019 Harbaugh said tight end Hayden Hurst was sidelined from practice Thursday for precautionary reasons. Giana Han,, "Ravens coach John Harbaugh moves on after missing out on Gerald McCoy," 6 June 2019 After Oladipo was sidelined Jan. 23, the Pacers allowed only 108 points per 100 possessions, placing them as one of the top 10 defensive teams in the conference. Kyle Hightower, The Seattle Times, "Pacers, Celtics enter playoff matchup looking for redemption," 13 Apr. 2019 There is a long way to go toward the universal understanding that ignoring people’s differences ultimately erases us and sidelines our needs. Rawiya Kameir, Vogue, "After the Fenty Phenomenon, What’s Next for Inclusivity in Beauty?," 18 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sideline.' 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 sideline


circa 1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1913, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near sideline


side lever






Statistics for sideline

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for sideline

The first known use of sideline was circa 1862

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English Language Learners Definition of sideline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a line that marks the outside edge of a sports field or court
: the space outside the area where a game is played on a field or court
: a job that is done in addition to your main job



English Language Learners Definition of sideline (Entry 2 of 2)

: to prevent (a player) from playing in a game especially because of injury, illness, etc.


side·​line | \ ˈsīd-ˌlīn How to pronounce sideline (audio) \

Kids Definition of sideline

1 : a line marking the side of a playing field or court
2 : a business or a job done in addition to a person's regular occupation

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More from Merriam-Webster on sideline

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sideline

Spanish Central: Translation of sideline

Nglish: Translation of sideline for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sideline for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sideline

What made you want to look up sideline? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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