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[sahyd-shoh] /ˈsaɪdˌʃoʊ/
a minor show or exhibition in connection with a principal one, as at a circus.
any subordinate event or matter.
1840-50, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sideshow
  • sideshow is my one-stop shop for great random gifts.
  • Worthy and important, of course, but a sideshow to another of the events that is taking place this month.
  • For years, this software commons was no more than an obscure sideshow.
  • Aside from the pursuit of war and some shifting definition of victory, everything else is a political sideshow for him.
  • He plays a carnival sideshow performer who has a natural talent for cold reading.
  • Circus sideshow freaks of nature dominate this odd tale of a perfectly dysfunctional family.
  • Unfortunately, there are times when a sideshow takes center stage.
  • Claims that regulations that raise the cost of doing business will create new jobs are, at best, a sideshow.
  • Stuck between zombies and a sideshow, the workers must learn to survive with each other or die trying.
  • There also will be a ghoul-filled maze and a sideshow with food, magic shows, rides and games.
British Dictionary definitions for sideshow


a small show or entertainment offered in conjunction with a larger attraction, as at a circus or fair
a subordinate event or incident
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 sideshow

also side-show, 1855, "minor exhibition alongside or near a principal one," apparently a coinage of P.T. Barnum's, from side (adj.) + show (n.). Hence, any diversion or distracting event.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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