take a back seat

backseat

[bak-seet]
noun
1.
a seat at the rear.
Idioms
2.
take a backseat, to occupy a secondary or inferior position: Her writing has taken a backseat because of other demands on her time.

Origin:
1825–35

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

take a back seat

Occupy an inferior position; allow another to be in control. For example, Linda was content to take a back seat and let Nancy run the meeting. This idiom uses back seat in contrast to the driver's seat, that is, the one in control. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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