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)

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 But the multiverse allows Marvel to sidestep those continuity problems. Chris Smith, BGR, 18 Nov. 2021 The budget aims to use the Senate’s special reconciliation process to sidestep Republican support and pass with just 51 votes instead of the usual 60. Jonathan Ponciano, Forbes, 6 Nov. 2021 The decision allows teachers, members of the military, and other public servants to sidestep the program’s complex rules to receive debt relief, but only until Oct. 31, 2022., 28 Oct. 2021 Burrow has learned how to sidestep pass rushers and is now one of the N.F.L.’s most capable downfield passers. New York Times, 27 Oct. 2021 Related Video Budget reconciliation may offer Democrats a way to sidestep some partisan gridlock and advance President Biden’s policy objectives. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 That effort includes a provision that would close a loophole that now allows wealthy people to sidestep the income limits on Roth IRAs. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 30 Sep. 2021 On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the nation’s first state law designed to sidestep the federal restrictions and allow suits against gun manufacturers and sellers for distributing products that harm the public. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 July 2021 Commentators across the political spectrum — from liberal columnists to Conservative lions like former prime minister John Major — are even angrier about Downing Street’s push to sidestep accountability. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Visitors can access the hall of fame from outside the stadium, then on the other side step onto a plaza that allows fans to look out over the blue turf. Berry Tramel, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2021 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

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

30 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sidestep.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 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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