side·​long | \ ˈsīd-ˌlȯŋ How to pronounce sidelong (audio) \

Definition of sidelong

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 archaic : on the side



Definition of sidelong (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : lying or inclining to one side : slanting
2a : directed to one side sidelong looks
b : indirect rather than straightforward

Examples of sidelong in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb And there are some outstanding ones, like the high-polish oil sketch of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart that became the source of many other images, including the sour, sidelong-glancing Washington on the $1 bill. Holland Cotter, New York Times, 29 Dec. 2016 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The titular figure lies naked atop a wrinkled white sheet, offering viewers a sidelong glance and a slight smirk. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Sep. 2021 For lesbians accustomed to finding each other via sidelong glance, or not at all, JEB’s matter-of-fact images were a revelation. Sasha Archibald, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2021 As a conversationalist and as an author, Oyeyemi is the queen of the sidelong glance, the misdirection, the parable that can be taken two ways. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 29 Mar. 2021 Corrin trained with movement coach Polly Bennett to understand Diana’s distinctive mannerisms — her bashful head tilt, sidelong glances and tall-girl slouch — from the inside out. Meredith Blake Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2020 This syncretic, sidelong way of speaking — celebrated and circulated via popular music — archives histories of migration, resistance and coerced intimacy barely audible elsewhere. New York Times, 31 Jan. 2020 As an artist, Sam Winston was often on the lookout for topsy-turvy projects – weird, sidelong ways to unmoor familiar habits or nudge his work in new directions. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, 20 May 2020 For those who prefer their crime-fiction pulp hard-boiled and harder-hitting, with sidelong glances into moral philosophy and nasty nihilism, Zahler's the guy. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2020 Rather, the images build and scatter, with a sidelong glance, a wonderment, the capture of a felt moment. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Dec. 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sidelong


alteration of sideling entry 1

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The first known use of sidelong was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Sidelong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of sidelong

: made to the left or right or out of the corner of your eye


side·​long | \ ˈsīd-ˌlȯŋ How to pronounce sidelong (audio) \

Kids Definition of sidelong

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made to one side or out of the corner of the eye a sidelong look



Kids Definition of sidelong (Entry 2 of 2)

: out of the corner of the eye The boy glanced sidelong at the pie on the table.

More from Merriam-Webster on sidelong

Nglish: Translation of sidelong for Spanish Speakers


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