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sidetrack

[sahyd-trak] /ˈsaɪdˌtræk/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
1.
to move from the main track to a siding, as a train.
2.
to move or distract from the main subject or course.
noun
3.
any railroad track, other than a siding, auxiliary to the main track.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35, Americanism; side1 + track
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sidetrack
  • Now they appear to be throwing anything that will stick to the walls in order to sidetrack the debate.
  • Beside you is a lever with which you can switch the train to a sidetrack.
  • The purpose of this operation was to provide directional services on a sidetrack of a straight hole.
  • In my opinion, that is a fiction designed to sidetrack some of our productivity initiatives.
  • As distinguished from a sidetrack, a spur track is of indefinite length, extending out from main line.
British Dictionary definitions for sidetrack

sidetrack

/ˈsaɪdˌtræk/
verb
1.
to distract or be distracted from a main subject or topic
noun
2.
(US & Canadian) a railway siding
3.
the act or an instance of sidetracking; digression
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 sidetrack
n.

also side-track, "railway siding," 1835, from side (adj.) + track (n.). The verb meaning "to move (a train car) onto a sidetrack" is from 1874; figurative sense of "to divert from the main purpose" is attested from 1881. Related: Sidetracked.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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