9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[sahyd-trak] /ˈsaɪdˌtræk/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to move from the main track to a siding, as a train.
to move or distract from the main subject or course.
any railroad track, other than a siding, auxiliary to the main track.
Origin of sidetrack
1825-35, Americanism; side1 + track Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sidetracked
  • And too many are sidetracked by politics and political correctness to offer comprehensive solutions.
  • She'd wanted to be a television personality before she got sidetracked into books-she was hungry for television.
  • Alas, he is sidetracked at a gambling emporium, where he loses all his money.
  • But for people of every shade, vitiligo can cause distress as strangers gawk and job interviews become sidetracked.
  • His journey to glory on the racetrack thus sidetracked, he soon falls in with a group of hoods and street urchins.
  • Blessed with impressive speed, injuries sidetracked his career ever since his prep days.
  • Wood's career has been sidetracked by elbow injuries.
  • Many are sidetracked when they stop to feed and rest in the lakes and marshes found in suburban environments.
  • Without along-term frame work, educational technology could easily be sidetracked by the latest fad.
  • Those who fail to meet those targets get sidetracked.
British Dictionary definitions for sidetracked


to distract or be distracted from a main subject or topic
(US & Canadian) a railway siding
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 sidetracked



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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