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

As the situation between Seoul and Tokyo deteriorated on Friday, Pompeo hosted his Japanese and South Korean counterparts at an uncomfortable trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN conference. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Snubbed by North Korea, Pompeo hits other Asian turbulence," 3 Aug. 2019 The proposal is set to be discussed on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September. NBC News, "Trump warns U.S. allies to take back captured ISIS fighters," 3 Aug. 2019 Earlier this month, George and Princess Charlotte were seen kicking around a soccer ball on the sidelines of the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day. Sarah Madaus, Town & Country, "Prince George Celebrated His Birthday With a Soccer-Themed Party at Kensington Palace," 30 July 2019 The company could get a reprieve, though—after meeting with president Xi Jinping in Japan on the sidelines of the G-20 summit last month, Trump suggested Huawei’s problems could be dealt with through US-China trade talks. Jane Li, Quartz, "2019 isn’t looking too bad for Huawei, yet," 30 July 2019 Payne is realizing her own dream of performing for sports teams by dancing on the sidelines of the San Diego Guardians, a semi-professional basketball team. Ramona Sentinel, "Emily Payne shares love of dancing, pageantry," 25 July 2019 On the sidelines of a Latino citizens conference Thursday, some of the 2020 candidates hoping to take on Mr. Trump spoke to CBS News' Ed O'Keefe about the citizenship information collection plans announced by the president. Fin Gomez, Sara Cook, Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Trump abandons effort to include citizenship question on census," 12 July 2019 With the Western Conference arms race heating up, Portland Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey isn’t content sitting on the sideline and watching rivals load up., "Portland Trail Blazers trade for Hassan Whiteside, send Meyers Leonard to Miami Heat, Moe Harkless to LA Clippers: Report," 1 July 2019 While some of Tripoli’s abusive and corrupt militias are fighting Hifter, others have remained on the sidelines, unsure of which side to back. Washington Post, "He once attacked Tripoli. Now a Libyan militia leader defends it from another invader.," 20 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Williamson appeared in just one game in the NBA summer league before being sidelined by the Pelicans as a precaution with a bruised left knee. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "Zion Williamson withdraws from USA Basketball training camp, per report," 22 July 2019 With a brace over his right knee and using crutches to walk around, Reds catcher Curt Casali is expected to be sidelined for the next three or four weeks with a right knee sprain. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett confident he will break out of early slump," 18 July 2019 Positive outlook for Holt Brock Holt has more than made up for missed time after being sidelined most of the first two months of season. Nick Kelly,, "Red Sox demote struggling Ryan Brasier to Pawtucket," 16 July 2019 Stroman, a New York native, started for the first time since June 29 after being sidelined with a left pectoral cramp. Adry Torres,, "Urshela, Tanaka set tone as Yankees beat Blue Jays," 14 July 2019 The second baseman/third baseman last played in July 2016 before being sidelined. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers pull plug on Brett Lawrie experiment after physical rehab benchmarks were not met," 18 June 2019 Durant revealed the severity of his injury Wednesday, two days after getting hurt during Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto in his return after being sidelined for a month with a right calf strain. Janie Mccauley, Houston Chronicle, "Warriors' Kevin Durant has surgery on ruptured Achilles," 12 June 2019 Durant revealed the severity of his injury two days after getting hurt during Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto in his return following being sidelined for a month with a right calf strain. Janie Mccauley, The Denver Post, "Kevin Durant announces he ruptured his Achilles and had a successful surgery, “EASY MONEY”," 12 June 2019 Costa returned to action last weekend after being sidelined for nearly two months because of a foot injury that required surgery. Tales Azzoni, The Seattle Times, "Atletico’s Costa not fit for 90 minutes against Juventus," 19 Feb. 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

8 Aug 2019

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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 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 shake or wave menacingly

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