1 of 2


side·​line ˈsīd-ˌlīn How to pronounce sideline (audio)
: a line at right angles to a goal line or end line and marking a side of a court or field of play for athletic games
: a line of goods sold in addition to one's principal line
: a business or activity pursued in addition to one's regular occupation
: the space immediately outside the lines along either side of an athletic field or court
: a sphere of little or no participation or activity
usually used in plural


2 of 2


sidelined; sidelining; sidelines

transitive verb

: to put out of action : put on the sidelines

Example Sentences

Noun She makes and sells jewelry as a sideline.
Recent Examples on the Web
Could Matt Patricia still end up with the Broncos?MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE Patricia could remain in an advisory role, but a job on the sideline with the Patriots seems unlikely. Jim Mcbride,, 28 Feb. 2023 The second-year head coach gave birth to daughter Reese on Oct. 15, was back on the sideline for USC’s season opener 24 days later on Nov. 8 and lifted the Trojans into the Associated Press top 25 for the first time since 2016 on Feb. 13. Austin Knoblauchassistant Editor, Los Angeles Times, 27 Feb. 2023 Both start opposite the passer on the sideline, receive picks, are involved in a little contact, catch the ball, quickly turn, shoot and win the game. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 26 Feb. 2023 But a sprained ankle, depending on the severity, could mean weeks on the sideline. oregonlive, 14 Feb. 2023 In the first half, Mahomes mostly had to stand on the sideline and watch as the Eagles offense moved and scored via various speeds and methods. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 13 Feb. 2023 Mahomes spent large portions of the game on the sideline, as the Eagles dominated the possession of the ball—the Chiefs only ran fifty-three plays, a shockingly low number—while Hurts was busy spinning his own legend. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 13 Feb. 2023 The Eagles later converted a big third-and-14 from the Chiefs' 47 when Jalen Hurts completed a pass to tight end Dallas Goedert on the sideline. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, 13 Feb. 2023 Doha Madani Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who collapsed during a game last month, was spotted on the sideline Sunday showing love to an old friend. Rob Wile, NBC News, 13 Feb. 2023
The decision to sideline the benefit programs in the budget debate worries some, given that the programs are unsustainable in their current trajectory and will need adjustments. Arkansas Online, 18 Feb. 2023 The decision to sideline the benefit programs in the budget debate worries some, given that the programs are unsustainable in their current trajectory and will need adjustments. Carl Hulse, New York Times, 17 Feb. 2023 The goal is both to prevent future, costly problems that could sideline the car and to extend its useful life. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2023 But he’s also started to use the new conservative majority to sideline certain Democrats, including Omar, whom House Republicans are attempting to block from retaining her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 31 Jan. 2023 When regulators and critics suggested the obvious—that this was cynical, and bound to lead to pain for people who didn’t deserve it—the industry ignored them, or tried to politically sideline them, or told them to have fun staying poor. Max Chafkin,, 17 Jan. 2023 Dustin tries a new dredging approach that lands him in Nugget Creek’s roughest waters; at Kayla’s site, an emergency threatens to sideline a miner. Olivia Mccormack, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2022 Sunday is going to sideline him starting Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Sal Maiorana, USA TODAY, 8 Nov. 2022 For the 23-year-old Andrade, victory also came after eight surgeries, most of them on a right knee that has repeatedly suffered the type of ligament injury that can sideline an athlete for months and even end a career. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, 5 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1913, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sideline was circa 1862

Dictionary Entries Near sideline

Cite this Entry

“Sideline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a line marking the side of a playing field or court
: a business or job done in addition to one's regular occupation

More from Merriam-Webster on sideline

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?