side·​step | \ ˈsīd-ˌstep How to pronounce sidestep (audio) \
sidestepped; sidestepping; sidesteps

Definition of sidestep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : bypass, evade sidestep a question
2 : to move out of the way of : avoid sidestep a blow

intransitive verb

1 : to take a side step
2 : to avoid an issue or decision

side step


Definition of side step (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a step aside (as in boxing to avoid a blow)
2 : a step taken sideways (as when climbing on skis)

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Other Words from sidestep


sidestepper noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sidestep

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of sidestep in a Sentence

Verb She sidestepped the reporter's question. They're sidestepping the real issue.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In this way, the Trump campaign using Parler as a way to counteract the increasingly stringent gatekeeping of the mainstream social media platforms is similar to how Clinton used MTV and the Arsenio Hall Show to sidestep the mainstream news media. Philip M. Napoli, Wired, "What Trump's Twitter and Clinton's Sax Have in Common," 2 July 2020 One recurring theory was that Mixer was shuttered to sidestep the fallout of a weekend of painful allegations. Washington Post, "The last days of Mixer," 30 June 2020 Several of Schumer's Republican colleagues sought to sidestep questions from reporters when asked about Trump's tweet on the 75-year-old protester. John Wagner, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump draws rebukes for suggesting 75-year-old protester pushed in Buffalo was part of ‘set up’," 9 June 2020 President Trump has ordered federal agencies to use emergency authority to sidestep environmental reviews to expedite highways, pipelines and other major infrastructure projects as a way to boost an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Timothy Puko, WSJ, "Trump Issues Order to Expedite Projects, Sidestep Environmental Reviews," 4 June 2020 With the newspaper's request sidestepped, the parties began crafting a new deal, one designed to avoid public disclosure of the texts. Jim Schaefer, Detroit Free Press, "The keys to the cover-up: Supreme Court frees last documents from text message scandal," 30 May 2020 Engel also revealed Monday that Linick was investigating at his request the Trump administration's declaration of an emergency to fast-track an $8 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia and sidestep congressional review. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Pompeo defends firing of State Department watchdog," 20 May 2020 And also be sure to include a dessert from pastry chef Maggie Huff, who was unjustly sidestepped as a James Beard finalist this year. Amanda Albee, Dallas News, "Celebration takeout: Right now is the perfect time to try 5 top Dallas restaurants at home," 7 May 2020 So when the injury that may have been done to Reade was too difficult to approach directly, some women sidestepped her story, and instead made themselves—or the generalized movement—the injured party. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "Joe Biden’s Tired Feminist Shield," 30 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Practical touches are power side steps that fold out of the way when the truck is parked or on the move. Houston Chronicle, "Ram whips up new Laramie Southwest Edition half-ton pickup," 20 Mar. 2020 In recent weeks, the fighting has intensified as foreign backers of the two sides stepped up their military support., "Bombs Kill 7 at Refugee Shelter in Libya," 15 May 2020 Separately, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge floated the idea of issuing a compulsory license, which would permit the government to side step any Roche patents and arrange for alternate production. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Roche backpedals and agrees to provide a solution for Covid-19 tests in the Netherlands," 27 Mar. 2020 Rogers pump fakes and side steps (travels didn't exist back then either, apparently). Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "That time Kenny Rogers faked out Michael Jordan during a celebrity pickup game in 1988," 21 Mar. 2020 The 19-year-old scored his 40th goal of the season in Borussia Dortmund's 2-0 win at Werder Bremen Saturday as Lucien Favre's side stepped up its pursuit of leader Bayern Munich. Paul Gittings, CNN, "Magical Messi gets four in Barcelona's Camp Nou rout of Eibar," 22 Feb. 2020 The actress and activist was handcuffed on the east side steps and escorted into a police vehicle., "Before her arrest, Fonda in a speech called climate change ‘‘a collective crisis that demands collective action now.’’ ASSOCIATED PRESS," 12 Oct. 2019 The attack was a reprisal for the American assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, and its limited nature helped both sides step back from further escalation, for now. David Meyer, Fortune, "Tough jobs, health-care futures and sustainability promises," 17 Jan. 2020 The actress and activist was handcuffed on the east side steps and escorted into a police vehicle., "Before her arrest, Fonda in a speech called climate change ‘‘a collective crisis that demands collective action now.’’ ASSOCIATED PRESS," 12 Oct. 2019

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


1860, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sidestep

Time Traveler

The first known use of sidestep was circa 1656

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Statistics for sidestep

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sidestep.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for sidestep


How to pronounce side step (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sidestep

: to avoid walking into or being hit by (someone or something) by stepping to the right or left
: to avoid answering or dealing with (something) directly


side·​step | \ ˈsīd-ˌstep How to pronounce sidestep (audio) \
sidestepped; sidestepping

Kids Definition of sidestep

1 : to take a sideways step … she sidestepped in front of him, blocking his path.— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
2 : to avoid by a step to the side He sidestepped the punch.
3 : to avoid answering or dealing with She sidestepped the question.

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