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[sahyd-lahyn] /ˈsaɪdˌlaɪn/
a line at the side of something.
a business or activity pursued in addition to one's primary business; a second occupation.
an additional or auxiliary line of goods:
a grocery store with a sideline of household furnishings.
  1. either of the two lines defining the side boundaries of a field or court.
  2. sidelines, the area immediately beyond either sideline, where the substitute players sit.
sidelines, the position or point of view taken by a person who observes an activity or situation but does not directly participate in it.
verb (used with object), sidelined, sidelining.
to render incapable of participation, especially in anything involving vigorous, physical action, as a sport:
An injury to his throwing arm sidelined the quarterback for two weeks.
Origin of sideline
1685-95, Americanism; side1 + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sideline
  • Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby, a profitable sideline, or a full-time occupation.
  • It was there on the sideline, and the spoken word movement brought poetry back to the people.
  • And you do your creative work as a sideline, a second job, or a hobby.
  • Their financial reporting business is only a sideline.
  • Learn electronics, become a radio ham on the sideline.
  • Bottom line is the intellectual is required to sideline their own interested and is forced to perform for these power-brokers.
  • The restaurants that serve it as a sideline don't do all that good a job.
  • The palette of flavors runs to sour and spicy, with a busy sideline in the funky and fermented.
  • In soccer, the coach is a distant figure on the sideline.
  • Wheeled him up and down the sideline to keep him close to the action.
British Dictionary definitions for sideline


(sport) a line that marks the side boundary of a playing area
a subsidiary interest or source of income
an auxiliary business activity or line of merchandise
verb (transitive)
to prevent (a player) from taking part in a game
to prevent (a person) from pursuing a particular activity, operation, career, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sideline

also side-line, "line on the side of a fish," 1768; "lines marking the limits of playing area" (on a football field, etc.), 1862, from side (adj.) + line (q.v.). Meaning "course of business aside from one's regular occupation" is from 1890. Railway sense is from 1890. The figurative sense of "position removed from active participation" is attested from 1934 (from the railway sense or from sports, because players who are not in the game stand along the sidelines). The verb meaning "put out of play" is from 1945. Related: Sidelined; sidelining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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