side·line | \ ˈsīd-ˌlīn \

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

Ever notice that some college offense will line up and possibly go through some motion or quarterback cadence before 11 heads suddenly turn to the sideline? Andy Staples,, "Like It or Not, College Football Is Influencing the NFL," 12 July 2018 He was helped to the sideline with his arm around Ronaldo's back. Tim Booth,, "Edinson Cavani scores twice as Uruguay ousts Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal," 30 June 2018 Juan Quintero sprinted over to the sideline to have a conversation with Colombia Manager Jose Pekerman, apparently about Mojica’s status. Joel Petterson, New York Times, "Colombia Emerges From the World Cup Chaos, Booting Senegal," 29 June 2018 The Storm coach exploded from his seat and got face to face with official Karleene Tobin before assistant Gary Kloppenburg stepped in and ushered Hughes back to the sideline. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Storm falls short at home against Atlanta," 11 June 2018 As any fan of American football can testify, though, video review comes with an unavoidable side effect: game delays as referees run to the sideline and take in multiple angles of plays. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Video Replay Is Coming to Russia’s World Cup," 8 June 2018 Lions trainers helped Bawden to the sideline, and after a few minutes of looking at his leg, Bawden limped to the locker room. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions lose 7th-round pick FB Nick Bawden to possible torn ACL," 6 June 2018 Donnel Pumphrey made a return visit to the sideline with an unspecified injury. Jeff Mclane,, "Eagles practice observations: Jason Peters inches along; Sidney Jones sidelined; Fletcher Cox and Nigel Bradham absent," 6 June 2018 The Red Raiders got off to a 5-0 start with Mayfield before an injury sent him to the sideline and led to the end of his Texas Tech career. Doug Lesmerises,, "Baker Mayfield, sneaking up on the football world again: NFL Draft 2018," 26 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

General manager Rick Hahn has become the reluctant bearer of bad news during the first half of the season, delivering medical updates on the latest prospects to be sidelined. Paul Sullivan,, "Biggest question for White Sox in second half: When is Eloy Jimenez coming?," 13 July 2018 After no party emerged from the March election with an absolute majority in Parliament, DiMaio and Salvini cut a deal that required both to sideline their ambition to be premier. Frances D'emilio, Fox News, "Italy's anti-migrant minister steals partner party's show," 8 July 2018 After no party emerged from the March election with an absolute majority in Parliament, DiMaio and Salvini cut a deal that required both to sideline their ambition to be premier. Washington Post, "Italy’s anti-migrant minister steals partner party’s show," 8 July 2018 But there is plenty of interest in Syndergaard, who has been out since May 26 with a strained ligament in the index finger of his throwing hand, an injury that was not originally expected to sideline him this long. James Wagner, New York Times, "Mets Lose Again as They Plod Toward the Trade Deadline," 4 July 2018 The Brewers are going to need more from Broxton if Yelich continues to be sidelined, as Ryan Braun also left Friday's game with a lower-back issue. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers' depth once again pays dividends thanks to Keon Broxton," 29 June 2018 While the injury immediately ruled him out of the tournament, it is also expected to sideline him for a large part of the 2018/19 season., "West Ham Fans Gush Over Colombian Star's Performance as Hammers Eye Manuel Lanzini Replacement," 25 June 2018 There's too much at stake, too many dying to be sidelined by this controversy, Noplis said. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Tired of going to funerals, this doctor treats addiction with drugs," 21 June 2018 For many, the World Cup gives people a chance to sideline politics and unite under the feel-good umbrella of sports diplomacy. Melissa Etehad,, "For L.A.'s Iranian American community, the World Cup means much more than soccer games," 15 June 2018

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

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for sideline

The first known use of sideline was circa 1862

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More Definitions for sideline



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 \

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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