1 of 2


side·​long ˈsīd-ˌlȯŋ How to pronounce sidelong (audio)
archaic : on the side


2 of 2


: lying or inclining to one side : slanting
: directed to one side
sidelong looks
: indirect rather than straightforward

Examples of sidelong in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
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
Photo: Ann Broder / VHT for The Corcoran Group The primary bedroom looks south, with sidelong views of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler. Adriane Quinlan, Curbed, 10 Nov. 2023 This pinballing structure also permits room for sidelong angles on the incident from various secondary parties, including Janka, outraged on her teacher’s behalf, and the school’s despairing principal, wondering why Erika couldn’t have covered their brand-new gym instead. Guy Lodge, Variety, 5 Sep. 2023 But when the conversation turns to Jordan Bardella, the young new leader of the far-right National Rally (RN) party, there are a few sidelong glances. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Nov. 2022 Cunningham notes the mind-numbing repetitiveness of the job, but any sidelong glance at Dickens is almost immediately averted by the different emphasis Cunningham brings to the juxtaposition of man, machine and mechanistic labor. Neel Mukherjee, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2022 Young suitors and ladies attend dances, ride horses, and trade yearning sidelong glances. Natalia Winkelman,, 29 June 2022 As the train approached its final destination in the early hours of the next day, those on board became watchful, casting sidelong glances at any unfamiliar woman not accompanied by a man. April White, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 May 2022 Their full-length album builds on that promise, casting a sidelong glance at modern life’s rubbish—nagging bills, bad parties, worse dates—over elliptical riffing and galloping basslines. Maura Johnston, Time, 3 June 2022 Reviews were mostly complimentary, but Jet played up the supposed hypocrisy that a novelist who espoused racial pride married a white man—a sidelong critique of Walker’s political fitness that followed her throughout her career. The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sidelong.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



alteration of sideling entry 1

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sidelong

Cite this Entry

“Sidelong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adverb
side·​long ˈsīd-ˌlōŋ How to pronounce sidelong (audio)
: out of the corner of one's eye
glanced sidelong at the food on the table


2 of 2 adjective
: made to one side or out of the corner of one's eye
a sidelong glance

More from Merriam-Webster on sidelong

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