side·​track | \ ˈsīd-ˌtrak How to pronounce sidetrack (audio) \

Definition of sidetrack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : a position or condition of secondary importance to which one may be diverted


sidetracked; sidetracking; sidetracks

Definition of sidetrack (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to shunt aside (as to a railroad siding)
2a : to turn aside from a purpose : deflect
b : to prevent action on by diversionary tactics sidetrack an issue

Examples of sidetrack in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Becker and Tiriac are aiming for the long-term volley that a career sidetrack could impede. Angela Gaudioso, SPIN, 22 May 2022 The Pym arrow is a nice touch, as is the sidetrack through the Christmas tree lot. Keith Phipps, Vulture, 1 Dec. 2021 The rest is just a sidetrack, though neither goal will be easy. Keith Phipps, Vulture, 20 Nov. 2021 One of those sidetracks runs behind the International Trade Center and past the city’s public waterfront facilities Any freight rail train holding on this track blocks all freight railroad services into the main port complex. John Sharp |, al, 17 Dec. 2019 The construction of a train station at Brookley would also require an additional $2.5 million to finance the construction of a sidetrack that would connect the main line to it. al, 20 Dec. 2019 The sidetrack to that is that Inge is a German person. Chris Hewitt, Twin Cities, 4 May 2017 When the Aztecs were winning three straight tournament championships from 2013-15 they always were accompanied with twists and turns, sidetracks and setbacks. Kirk Kenney,, 27 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Fed must not allow the trauma of Russia’s war to sidetrack normalizing monetary policy. Mickey D. Levy, WSJ, 14 Mar. 2022 Not even a knee injury that knocked top receiver John Metchie out of the game just before halftime — and likely ended his season — could sidetrack the Tide. Paul Newberry,, 5 Dec. 2021 Not even an apparent knee injury that knocked top receiver John Metchie out of the game just before halftime could sidetrack the Tide. NBC News, 5 Dec. 2021 There’s no shame in trailing Herbert, who has avoided most of the pitfalls that sidetrack young quarterbacks. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Nov. 2021 Negative circling thoughts—such as worry or rumination—can lead to depression, anxiety and self-focus that sidetrack us from job tasks—even to a shorter lifespan. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2021 Another problem with information overload is that spending too much time analyzing the wrong metrics can potentially sidetrack your business and reduce productivity. Beth Worthy, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 Pivec does worry that NIL could sidetrack the primary mission of student-athletes. oregonlive, 1 July 2021 Unexpected complications with a financial matter may sidetrack your social life. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 25 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sidetrack.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sidetrack


1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sidetrack

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The first known use of sidetrack was in 1828

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Dictionary Entries Near sidetrack

side tool


side trip

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Cite this Entry

“Sidetrack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sidetrack


side·​track | \ ˈsīd-ˌtrak How to pronounce sidetrack (audio) \
sidetracked; sidetracking

Kids Definition of sidetrack

: to turn aside from a main purpose or direction Nick could launch a question guaranteed to sidetrack the teacher long enough to … wipe out the homework assignment.— Andrew Clements, Frindle

More from Merriam-Webster on sidetrack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sidetrack

Nglish: Translation of sidetrack for Spanish Speakers


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