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

Example Sentences

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
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 With a sidelong glance at the woman eating soup, Lorna hastily slipped what was left of the sandwich into a napkin, transferred the napkin into her coat pocket, and rose from the table. Colin Barrett, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 For this ambitious session, featuring a sidelong suite and two Coleman originals, the two hornmen temper their outward tendencies by leaning back into their roots of blues and a raucous Pentecostal church gospel. Washington Post, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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 29 Mar. 2023.

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

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