side·​show | \ ˈsīd-ˌshō How to pronounce sideshow (audio) \

Definition of sideshow

1 : a minor show offered in addition to a main exhibition (as of a circus)
2 : 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

Contraptions toy with the youths’ thrill-thirsty minds until the line dividing low-grade sideshows from tangible nightmare is completely blurred, to their dismay. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: The co-writers of ‘A Quiet Place’ bring smart horror to ‘Haunt’," 12 Sep. 2019 The Cincinnati Circus will perform from noon to 8 p.m. The performances will include a stunt show and a sideshow. Briana Rice,, "Western & Southern WEBN Fireworks 2019: Everything you need to know about Riverfest," 27 Aug. 2019 Olsen turned Mike into a sideshow hit, traveling around the country to display him in front of paying tourists. Tom Noel, The Know, "16 strange, spooky and (mostly) true Colorado stories to tell around a campfire," 24 Aug. 2019 Rounding out the acts this week are opera singer Robert Finley, singer Chris Klafford, dance group Light Balance Kids, dancer Marina Mazepa, sideshow Nick & Lindsay, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, comedian Ryan Niemiller, and singer Charlotte Summers. Karen Mizoguchi,, "AGT: Howie Mandel Calls Golden Buzzer Winner Joseph Allen a 'Shining Star in This Crowded World'," 20 Aug. 2019 By comparison, the hysteria in the global north over international migrants seems a pale sideshow. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "A storyteller chronicles the mass migrations that define our age," 17 July 2019 The use of an iconic symbol of wildness as a sideshow bauble has helped fuel this growth., "The trouble with tigers in America," 13 July 2019 The sideshow: In the fourth, Martinez, in his last at-bat of the night, struck out against the Reds’ Luis Castillo. Julian Mcwilliams,, "Moment by moment, baseball’s All-Stars put on a real show," 10 July 2019 But some Republicans who have pitched in with Williamson do view her as a serious contender rather than a sideshow. Dallas News, "Mischievous Republicans donate to keep love guru Marianne Williamson alive in Democratic primary," 3 July 2019

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

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for sideshow

Last Updated

25 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for sideshow

The first known use of sideshow was in 1846

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English Language Learners Definition of sideshow

: a smaller show that is performed in addition to a main show
: an activity or event that is less important than the main activity or event


side·​show | \ ˈsīd-ˌshō How to pronounce sideshow (audio) \

Kids Definition of sideshow

: a small show off to the side of a main show or exhibition (as of a circus)

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More from Merriam-Webster on sideshow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sideshow

Spanish Central: Translation of sideshow

Nglish: Translation of sideshow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sideshow for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sideshow

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