side·​swipe | \ ˈsīd-ˌswīp How to pronounce sideswipe (audio) \
sideswiped; sideswiping; sideswipes

Definition of sideswipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to strike with a glancing blow along the side sideswiped a parked car



Definition of sideswipe (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the action of sideswiping
b : an instance of sideswiping : a glancing blow
2 : an incidental deprecatory remark, allusion, or reference

Examples of sideswipe in a Sentence

Verb The taxi sideswiped a parked car. Noun She took a sideswipe at the senator's voting record.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The need to suddenly become teachers, during this pandemic, has sideswiped the working patterns of mothers and fathers alike. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "The choices working parents make now will shape the future for women," 21 May 2020 The virus outbreak has sideswiped the region with a raft of new, potentially much broader uncertainties. Washington Post, "China virus outbreak chilling recovery for Asian economies," 18 Feb. 2020 The officers learned that the victim had been sideswiped by another vehicle traveling on Piney Point Road. Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Villages Police Department weekly report," 24 Feb. 2020 Police said the pedestrian was on the shoulder of I-95 at I-695 in Arbutus with a disabled vehicle around 7:20 a.m. Witnesses told police a Ford van drifted into the shoulder, sideswiping the victim’s vehicle before crashing into him. Mckenna Oxenden,, "Police: Driver arrested for DUI after killing pedestrian on I-95 in Arbutus during morning rush hour," 26 Sep. 2019 But the car veered off Olney-Laytonsville Road, went airborne, sideswiped a utility pole and slammed into a tree. Washington Post, "He drove drunk and killed 3 friends. Now he’s accused of prying out his ‘Interlock’ device.," 3 Feb. 2020 Certainly, there are more tactful ways to excite a moribund fan base than to sideswipe the previous regime. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Hold on, Mobsters. Today, we're tossing it around the horn.," 12 Feb. 2020 By Wednesday, forecasters said, Dorian could sideswipe southwestern Puerto Rico as a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of at least 74 miles an hour, and then make landfall in the Dominican Republic early Thursday. Adeel Hassan, New York Times, "Tropical Storm Dorian: Puerto Rico Braces for Possible Hurricane," 16 Nov. 2013 Yet if Kaline saw the end coming, so many of us did not. Consumed by the pandemic that is rattling the globe, we were sideswiped by the news, and left scrambling to put his life into some perspective. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, "Mitch Albom: Al Kaline takes his bow. His legend will live forever.," 7 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Many of the accidents were attributed to rear-end collisions caused by vehicles stopping in a travel lane and sideswipe accidents caused by vehicles changing lanes, the city said in a news release. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Akron plans resurfacing, lane reduction project for Waterloo Road," 3 Dec. 2019 Cars with lane-departure warning systems had 11 percent fewer single-vehicle, sideswipe, and head-on crashes than those without the technology, for example., "No car is going to tell me how to drive - The Boston Globe," 10 Nov. 2019 Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune: USC sideswipes Utah, knocking the Utes off their path to glory. oregonlive, "The Pac-12′s College Football Playoff chances are fading away: Issues & Answers," 21 Sep. 2019 Davis said many rear-end crashes and sideswipes on the Brent Spence Bridge happen because drivers entering at Fourth Street who wish to continue on I-75 don't have enough time to cross multiple lanes of traffic. Sarah Brookbank,, "'Texas turnaround' would be an extra long U-turn for Brent Spence Bridge," 7 Aug. 2019 Scott also praised law enforcement for responding to natural disasters and mass shootings, but took a sideswipe at his opponent, incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, for not demanding more accountability at the FBI. Gray Rohrer,, "South Florida sheriffs aren't on Scott's endorsement list," 11 June 2018 Before the 2017 project, sideswipe crashes were an issue on the mid-level ramps where traffic makes the transition between I-41 and Capitol Drive, Pyritz said. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As you hit the roadways, be aware of these 12 crash-prone intersections in the Milwaukee area," 24 May 2018 Beyond deteriorating roadways, there have been 1,600 crashes at the north split between 2012 and 2016, largely rear-ends or sideswipes. Amy Bartner, Indianapolis Star, "Exclusive: INDOT looks at 7 different ways to rethink Downtown Indy's North Split," 3 May 2018 Nursick noted that narrowing travel lanes can increase the potential for head-on and crossover or sideswipe crashes. Peter Marteka, Courant Community, "Glastonbury Asking DOT To Widen Shoulders Along Route 17," 2 May 2018

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


1891, in the meaning defined above


1857, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for sideswipe

Time Traveler

The first known use of sideswipe was in 1857

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Statistics for sideswipe

Last Updated

11 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sideswipe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for sideswipe


How to pronounce sideswipe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sideswipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : to hit the side of a vehicle with the side of another vehicle



English Language Learners Definition of sideswipe (Entry 2 of 2)

: a critical remark about someone or something that is made while talking about someone or something else

More from Merriam-Webster on sideswipe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sideswipe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sideswipe

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