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

Noun She makes and sells jewelry as a sideline.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mike Watts will be on play-by-play, Lori Lindsey on color commentary and Marisa Pilla will be the sideline reporter. oregonlive, "Portland Thorns vs. OL Reign in NWSL Challenge Cup: Score, live updates, how to watch free live stream online," 13 July 2020 Somewhere along in there came Slade’s most indelible memory from the game, when O.J. Simpson, microphone in hand, sidled up to him on the Jones Stadium sideline. Don Williams, USA TODAY, "When football helped the healing: How Lubbock rallied around a college all-star game," 12 July 2020 After three days in the hospital, Riggins was released and made the trip to Piscataway, New Jersey, to support his teammates from the sideline. Stefan Krajisnik, The Indianapolis Star, "After 2018 suicide attempt, A’Shon Riggins fights to defeat mental health stigma for others," 2 July 2020 In football, for instance, the sideline boxes for players can be extended to each 10-yard line instead of the 20, allowing for more social distancing. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "A plea to Gretchen Whitmer: Don't kill high school football in 2020 | Mick McCabe," 28 June 2020 Singer-songwriter Ryan Balthrop has a sideline painting on the glass in window frames discarded during remodeling work. al, "Found art: Mobile songwriter recovers stolen paintings," 10 June 2020 Still, an open flat route near the sideline has much less upside than an open slant route in the middle of the field, as the latter has great yards-after-catch potential. John Owning, Dallas News, "Cowboys film notebook: Breaking down Amari Cooper’s sluggo mastery and a concept Mike McCarthy may use a lot," 5 June 2020 Mike Watts will be on play-by-play, Lori Lindsey on color commentary and Marisa Pilla will be the sideline reporter. oregonlive, "Portland Thorns vs. OL Reign in NWSL Challenge Cup: Score, live updates, how to watch free live stream online," 13 July 2020 Bryan Fletcher shouted at Manning on the sideline as the Colts took over at their own 20-yard line with 2:17 to play after exchanging punts. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, "Ranking every Indianapolis Colts team: Nos. 1-5, Peyton Manning's best," 12 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This is an effort to sideline leaders of booster groups and keep athletics departments from having staffers help athletes line up deals. Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY, "Florida bill on college athletes' name, image and likeness will be signed by governor today," 12 June 2020 Samuel's recovery from the Jones fracture is expected to sideline him for 12-16 weeks, per Rapoport. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffers broken foot, per report," 19 June 2020 Lam’s hard-charging attempt to sideline her own people to please her bosses in Beijing has had the opposite effect. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, "A Stubborn Leader, a Broken System," 18 June 2020 Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former energy lawyer, has long sought to sideline co-benefits, which industry sees as justifying rules whose costs outweigh true environmental benefits. Jean Chemnick, Scientific American, "Soot Rule Thrusts EPA into Spotlight on Race," 12 June 2020 Beijing has now chosen to sideline the Hong Kong government. Lavender Au, The New York Review of Books, "In Hong Kong, Uncertainty Rules as Beijing Asserts Control," 5 June 2020 Like other big summer events, Detroit's long-running multicultural music festival has been sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic, so producers are taking the show to TV and radio for a four-night special to air in October. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's Concert of Colors to air as 4-night TV and radio special in October," 10 June 2020 Mothers have long been sidelined from jobs and promotions (or shut out altogether) because of the insistence on face time and travel. Joanne Lipman, NBC News, "Joanne Lipman: 7 ways to ensure women don't backslide in their careers during COVID-19," 10 June 2020 The decision will sideline six teams that compete in fall or winter seasons: Four women’s sports - basketball, cross country, indoor track and volleyball - as well as two men’s sports, basketball and soccer. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Tri-C cancels all fall, winter sports programs," 8 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for sideline

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The first known use of sideline was circa 1862

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sideline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for sideline


How to pronounce sideline (audio)

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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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

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