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 By requiring preclearance for all 50 states, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act could sidestep concerns that some places are treated differently than others. Sasha Hupka, Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2021 The bill garnered bipartisan support after lawmakers agreed to sidestep the biggest sticking point over lands subject to property restrictions intended to slow the spread of wildfire. oregonlive, 30 June 2021 In the absence of variants that sidestep immunity, in theory immunity could last a lifetime, experts said., 28 June 2021 If the $10k crypto reporting is implemented, my guess is there are going to be some people who are trying to keep something private who end up in trouble for trying to sidestep a reporting trigger. Robert W. Wood, Forbes, 31 May 2021 Most of us appeared to sidestep the soup of bugs that cause colds. Helen Branswell, STAT, 29 May 2021 But there is no guarantee that such immunity will be powerful enough to protect him for years, particularly given the emergence of variants of the coronavirus that can partially sidestep the body’s defenses. Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, 26 May 2021 Yet Holland’s film seems almost to want to sidestep ethically fraught questions of aesthetic form. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, 19 May 2021 Breyer, a former law professor, is known for trying to sidestep friction and, among the nine, trying to build consensus. Joan Biskupic, CNN, 18 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hybrid mattresses side step that issue by combining the best of both worlds: the comfort of foam with the support and breathability of a coil layer. Joe Van Brussel, Forbes, 9 May 2021 Emhoff’s little side step of uncertainty got raves. Liza Mundy, The Atlantic, 20 Apr. 2021 Bring your left foot slightly in, keeping tension on the band, and continuing to side step to the right like this for 10 steps. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, 1 Feb. 2019 Legs and Glutes Workouts Try air squats, side step squats, sumo squats, jump squats, and even weighted squats. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Good Housekeeping, 23 Dec. 2020 Practical touches are power side steps that fold out of the way when the truck is parked or on the move. Houston Chronicle, 20 Mar. 2020 In recent weeks, the fighting has intensified as foreign backers of the two sides stepped up their military support., 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, 27 Mar. 2020 Rogers pump fakes and side steps (travels didn't exist back then either, apparently). Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 21 Mar. 2020

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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Dictionary Entries Near sidestep

side sprig


side step

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Statistics for sidestep

Last Updated

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sidestep.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for sidestep



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on sidestep

Nglish: Translation of sidestep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sidestep for Arabic Speakers


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