side·​show ˈsīd-ˌshō How to pronounce sideshow (audio)
: a minor show offered in addition to a main exhibition (as of a circus)
: an incidental diversion or spectacle

Examples of sideshow in a Sentence

Their disagreement is just a political sideshow when compared to the real issues at hand.
Recent Examples on the Web Compared with national elections in Europe, EU parliamentary elections often are viewed as a sideshow, as public turnout drops radically and fringe parties benefit from protest voting. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 June 2024 The Mayor also took aim Saturday at parents of sideshow participants. Ethan Baron, The Mercury News, 2 June 2024 Just last Saturday, officers were able to prevent a group from putting on two sideshows after catching word the events were being planned. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 May 2024 The comity seemed an easy and mutually useful way to close this sideshow of the ongoing 2024 campaign and a debate over the borders of the battlefield. Philip Elliott, TIME, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for sideshow 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sideshow was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near sideshow

Cite this Entry

“Sideshow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


side·​show -ˌshō How to pronounce sideshow (audio)
: a small show off to the side offered in addition to a main show (as of a circus)

More from Merriam-Webster on sideshow

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