Definition of side in English:

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Pronunciation: /sīd/


1A position to the left or right of an object, place, or central point: a town on the other side of the river on either side of the entrance was a garden Rachel tilted her head to one side
More example sentences
  • The policemen had taken up battle positions on the other side of the gate.
  • The man then sat down across the table from him and folded his arms on the desk as the guards took up positions at the sides of the door.
  • Your arms should be directly in front of your body or slightly out to the sides in the start position.
1.1Either of the two halves of an object, surface, or place regarded as divided by an imaginary central line: she lay on her side of the bed the left side of the brain
More example sentences
  • This is an opening in the central wall of the heart that divides the right side from the left.
  • Cut off the arms and neck hole and divide the two sides in two to make four dusters: dampen them slightly and they work a treat without the use of polish.
  • The heart is a muscular pump divided into two sides.
half, part;
1.2The right or the left part of a person’s or animal’s body, especially of the human torso: he has been paralyzed on his right side since birth
More example sentences
  • The first man received nine stab wounds to his chest and the left-hand side of his body.
  • Nurses turned my body slowly on its side, so I could sleep and get feeling back in my legs.
  • They keep me even on both sides of my body, and I can stand up without falling backwards or tipping too far forwards.
1.3 [in singular] A place or position closely adjacent to someone: his wife stood at his side
More example sentences
  • They come in all shapes and sizes, they stand alert by one's side when not required and they have to be carried on escalators.
  • I turned to see one of my neighbors had came to my side.
  • At my side was another sick kid, a little boy who was sort of the poster child for the hospital.
1.4Either of the lateral halves of the body of a butchered animal, or an animal prepared for eating: a side of beef
More example sentences
  • Preserved pork, including sides salted to make bacon, held a place of primary importance in the British diet in past centuries.
  • Mounds of oysters, long sides of smoked salmon and busy chefs cooking right in front of you are assurance enough of simple stuff done well.
  • Murdoch arrived just a little bit later driving a wagon laden with sides of beef and pork for the barbecue.
2An upright or sloping surface of a structure or object that is not the top or bottom and generally not the front or back: a car crashed into the side of the house line the sides of the cake pan [as modifier]: a side entrance
More example sentences
  • There is a side entrance from the front of the house into the kitchen pantry area.
  • Turn it over and look at the top, front, back, sides and bottom.
  • The house has a side entrance, large garden to the rear and off street parking.
2.1Each of the flat surfaces of a solid object.
Example sentences
  • Cuboid cores are prepared blocky-like cubes of chert, with blades often produced on six sides.
  • The album cover can only have been designed, and approved, by someone who owns dice with more than six sides.
  • However, some have pointed out that many crystals have six sides rather than four.
2.2Either of the two surfaces of something flat and thin, such as paper or cloth.
Example sentences
  • Encouraged, though shy, Moon started using both sides of the paper.
  • Most campus printers are way cheaper when you use both sides of the paper.
  • Staff and children alike reused paper, photocopied on both sides and shredded waste paper.
surface, face, plane
2.3The amount of writing needed to fill one side of a sheet of paper: she told us not to write more than three sides
More example sentences
  • Neither is much longer than two sides of a single sheet of paper.
  • The wine list is two sides of an A4 sheet with no room for showing off, and seems very intelligently chosen.
  • As a result, a typical Saturday ‘would result in thirty sides of notes handwritten on A4 paper’.
2.4Either of the two faces of a record or of the two separate tracks on a length of recording tape.
Example sentences
  • You requested three or four numbers, so I have filled up one side of a cassette tape.
  • There are six tracks split over two sides of vinyl, featuring daytime recording on one side and night-time workouts on the flip.
  • Reliably, however, she woke up each time it was time to change sides on the tape.
3A part or region near the edge and away from the middle of something: a minivan was parked at the side of the road cabins on the south side of the clearing
More example sentences
  • The Evening Press reported how a van driver had come across the woman slumped in an armchair at the side of the road near shops.
  • She looked up at her surroundings, surprised to note that she was near the side of a road.
  • The two cars, a Volvo and a Metro, had been parked safely at the side of the road outside his home in Foxwood Lane, York.
edge, border, verge, boundary, margin, fringe(s), flank, bank, perimeter, extremity, periphery, (outer) limit, limits, bounds
literary marge, bourn
3.1 [as modifier] Subsidiary to or less important than something: a side dish of fresh vegetables
More example sentences
  • You don't really need these side dishes, though, especially if you get an appetizer.
  • The side dish had enough to feed two, let alone garnish a single plate.
  • I found the large salad a bit small for a meal, but it's the perfect size for two to share as a side dish.
subordinate, lesser, lower-level, secondary, minor, peripheral, incidental, ancillary, subsidiary, of little account, extraneous
3.2chiefly North American A dish served as subsidiary to the main one: sides of German potato salad and red cabbage
More example sentences
  • This would make a great side with fish for instance, or can be served as a main dish.
  • The potatoes and shallots were excellent sides, sweet and soft and flavorful.
3.3Each of the lines forming the boundary of a plane rectilinear figure: the farm buildings formed three sides of a square
More example sentences
  • How much more sacred than our triangle would be a square, a pentagon, a decagon, a figure with a hundred sides?
  • The cathedral stands on one side of a historic square with government buildings lining the other sides.
  • He gives the example of the exercise of trying to draw a seven-sided figure with equal sides, using only a ruler and compass.
4A person or group opposing another or others in a dispute, contest, or debate: the two sides agreed to resume border trade whose side are you on?
More example sentences
  • There was concern that the opposing sides in the funeral dispute might travel to the hospital for the remains.
  • There is virtually no common ground between the two opposing sides in the debate over the Constitutional Reform Bill.
  • In this debate the opposing sides rarely address the other's best arguments.
faction, camp, bloc, party, wing
4.1chiefly British A sports team.
Example sentences
  • Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.
  • Overall it was a battling team performance from both sides with the man of the match award going to Liam Chipman.
  • They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.
team, squad, lineup
4.2The position, interests, or attitude of one person or group, especially when regarded as being in opposition to another or others: Mrs. Burt hasn’t kept her side of the bargain the conservationists are on the city’s side of the case
More example sentences
  • The public deserve to hear both sides of the argument because this is the single most important decision to face this country.
  • She is a much needed conservative voice in an often liberal media, and will fight to have both sides of every argument heard.
  • On Monday a planning inspector heard both sides of the argument before visiting the site.
point of view, viewpoint, perspective, opinion, way of thinking, standpoint, position, outlook, slant, angle
4.3A particular aspect of something, especially a situation or a person’s character: her ability to put up with his disagreeable side
More example sentences
  • The negative side of this aspect is that self-indulgence may cause physical problems.
  • According to the young bride, her wedding was the bringing together of the emotional and business sides of her character.
  • His delivery and facial expressions expose the many sides of his character and even hint at his own hypocrisy.
4.4A person’s kinship or line of descent as traced through either their father or mother: Richard was of French descent on his mother’s side
More example sentences
  • All my ancestors on both my father's and mother's sides were employed in the mining and steel industries.
  • I come from a family which is steeped in the law, on both my mother's and father's sides.
  • A mechanic's son, he is descended on his mother's side from a line of griots.
5 (also sidespin) Horizontal spinning motion given to a ball.
Example sentences
  • The ancillary action of the cue ball, when using side spin to compensate for throw, is an entirely different subject that can not be covered here.
  • As in the console versions, you're also able to add top and side spin to the ball while it's airborne, which may seem a little unrealistic, but it makes the game more enjoyable.
  • But the value of side spin is only apparent when rail shots come into play.
5.1 Billiards another term for English (sense 3 of the noun).
Example sentences
  • He put a lot of left hand side on the cue ball, sending it round the table.


1 [no object] (side with/against) Support or oppose in a conflict, dispute, or debate: he felt that Max had betrayed him by siding with Beatrice
More example sentences
  • If New Labour prefers to side with big business, maybe it's time for a genuine socialist alternative?
  • I believe she made this statement in an attempt to encourage me to side with her.
  • An arbitrator was called in to settle the dispute and sided with the Flyers.
support, be on someone's side, take someone's side, take someone's part, stand by, back, give someone one's backing, be loyal to, defend, champion, ally (oneself) with, sympathize with, favor
2 [with object] Provide with a side or sides; form the side of: the hills that side a long valley
More example sentences
  • We left the farmlands now, and the road was sided by hills and long grass waves glittering in the wind.



by (or at) someone's side

Close to someone, especially so as to give them comfort or moral support: a stepson who stayed by your side when your own son deserted you
More example sentences
  • I long to be by your side to comfort you in your time of pain.
  • And all she could do was sit and feel quite helpless, wishing she was at Anna's side to comfort her and hold her hand.
  • My guide was brilliant, he stayed by my side and kept me going all the time.

by the side of

Close to: a house by the side of the road
More example sentences
  • Nigel lives in Majorca and showed me a photo of his house, by the side of a mountain, overlooking the sea.
  • The other night we saw a poor, abandoned, unwanted, unloved creature by the side of the road.
  • Rubbish is often dumped by the side of country lanes where the offenders can empty out their cars or vans without being seen.

from side to side

1Alternately left and right from a central point: I shook my head frantically from side to side
More example sentences
  • You can complete all reps for one side before going to the other or alternate from side to side.
  • On the odd occasion I managed to look down, I could see the float out of the water rushing frantically from side to side.
  • Her eyes dart frantically from side to side and she shoots me a petrified stare.
2Across the entire width; right across: the fleet stretched four miles from side to side
More example sentences
  • The ball had been switched from side to side before finally Stark was given the scoring pass wide on the right.
  • Both sets of defences were on high alert as play swung from side to side.
  • With only five of us in the basket there was plenty of space to go from side to side.

have something on one's side (or something is on one's side)

Something is operating to one’s advantage: now that he had time on his side, Tom relaxed a little
More example sentences
  • He argues that the administering of swift punishment for an offence not only makes the criminal think twice, but reassures law-abiding members of society that the justice system is on their side.
  • If you choose not to work over that limit, the law is on your side and makes clear that you must not be discriminated against in any way.
  • They're 100 percent convinced that justice is on their side.

on (or to) one side

Out of one’s way; aside.
Example sentences
  • Throughout the long march which followed, she had remained to one side, parallel but alone.
  • As soon as it comes to the boil, remove it from the heat and put it to one side.
  • When you're ready to make the sauce, remove the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns and keep them on one side.
5.1To be dealt with or considered later, especially because tending to distract one from something more important: before the kickoff a player has to set his disappointments and frustrations to one side
More example sentences
  • Leaving the architectural taste of other colleges to one side, the front quad is one of the great Oxford vistas.
  • If we can put sentimental interests to one side then all can benefit.
  • I've now pushed all my doubts to one side and have made the leap.

on the —— side

Tending toward being ——; rather —— (used to qualify an adjective): these shoes are a bit on the tight side
More example sentences
  • I got only a few steps along the lane for my walk today before realizing it was a bit on the cold side for me.
  • In fact the whole place was a bit on the quiet side, but maybe I arrived a bit early in the day.
  • Now they just give him three months every three months, just to be on the safe side.

on the side

1In addition to one’s regular job or as a subsidiary source of income: no one lived in the property, but the caretaker made a little on the side by renting rooms out
More example sentences
  • They are renting those rooms out to boarders and making quite a tidy income on the side.
  • Was the chief earning a little extra income on the side to make ends meet?
  • Traditional puppeteers supplement their income by selling craft on the side.
2Secretly, especially with regard to a relationship in addition to one’s legal or regular partner: Brian had a mistress on the side
More example sentences
  • Being parents and having a secret lifestyle on the side was hard for both of them.
  • I have seen a number of women on the side and always justified it by my wife's lack of interest.
  • This girl has spent her life reading books and being a scholar, while I read on the side.
3North American Served separately from the main dish: a club sandwich with french fries on the side
More example sentences
  • To make the sauce, simply mix the mayonnaise, garlic and dill together and serve on the side.
  • My favourite dish is grilled tuna with steamed spinach on the side.
  • It is difficult to know exactly what to serve on the side with something you eat in this manner.

side by side

(Of two or more people or things) close together and facing the same way: on we jogged, side by side, for a mile
More example sentences
  • Blake joined her in the chant, and the two laid down on the grass, side by side, closing their eyes.
  • The next time Will comes to the office, Sean greets him at the door and they head off to a park where they sit side by side on a bench looking forward.
  • The vehicles park side by side, the brides are hastily exchanged, and the cars head home to the waiting grooms.
8.1Together: we have been using both systems, side by side, for two years
More example sentences
  • It may be difficult to manage, but it cannot be impossible to run the two programmes either side by side or together.
  • The two prophecies sit side by side, but sound discordant when heard together.
  • For these words, I may just give two definitions side by side.
8.2(Of people or groups) supporting each other; in cooperation: the two institutions worked side by side in complete harmony
More example sentences
  • Heron and Dawson fought side by side, protecting each other and protecting Neela.
  • The police around the country, man and woman, side by side, support the bill.
  • So he taught us how to value each other, how to be side by side with each other.

side of the fence

see fence.

take sides

Support one person or cause against another or others in a dispute, conflict, or contest: I do not want to take sides in this matter
More example sentences
  • The Labour MP, who called the meeting, told union members he could not take sides in an industrial dispute.
  • Some parents took sides with the government policy and supported the plan in force.
  • Some people are already taking sides, and the boss is looking for support from the people in your department.

take (or draw) someone to one side

Speak to someone in private, especially so as to advise or warn them about something.
Example sentences
  • He respects my age and quite often takes me to one side and speaks to me about players.
  • As midnight struck, Eddie took Tracey to one side and slipped the ring they had chosen together on to her finger.
  • My father took me to one side and told me I had to save the family honour.

this side of

1Before (a particular time, date, or event): this side of midnight
More example sentences
  • If everyone reading this downloads just three tracks each, we can prevent her from releasing anything this side of 2015.
  • She reckons she has another three novels in her, so anyone who expects another this side of 2010 should probably lay off the codeine.
  • Half of the next album is written and parts of it are already in demo form, so expect new material sometime this side of 2005.
1.1Yet to reach (a particular age): I’m this side of forty-five
More example sentences
  • The journey of our life is hopefully towards perfection, and we don't reach it this side of death of course, but the quest is there.
  • An obscure Sri Lankan had shoved aside three of the greatest batsmen in cricket history, the wonder carried in the voice of an Indian just this side of 70.
  • I am not the first person this side of thirty to work here, nor do I expect to be the last.
2 informal Used in superlative expressions to denote that something is comparable with a paragon or model of its kind: the finest coffee this side of Brazil
More example sentences
  • This place has the best coffee, tea, hot chocolate and pastries this side of the Rocky Mountains.
  • It serves the other best coffee I have ever had this side of the Mediterranean.
  • I remember one time I stole a kiss in the back orchard - they've got the largest plot of land this side of anywhere.



Example sentences
  • He lives in Essex and works in an industry which praises bombast, self-aggrandisement, vanity and vacuity, yet is the most sincere, sideless, self-effacing person you could hope to meet.
  • The M1077 and M1077A1 flatracks are sideless flatracks used to transport pallets of ammunition and other classes of supplies.
  • There are fond memories of him in short sleeves and a deerstalker hat driving a topless, sideless jeep in the winter snow.


Old English sīde 'left or right part of the body', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zijde and German Seite, probably from a base meaning 'extending lengthwise'.

Words that rhyme with side

abide, applied, aside, astride, backslide, beside, bestride, betide, bide, bride, chide, Clyde, cockeyed, coincide, collide, confide, cried, decide, divide, dried, elide, five-a-side, glide, guide, hide, hollow-eyed, I'd, implied, lied, misguide, nationwide, nide, offside, onside, outride, outside, pan-fried, pied, pie-eyed, pitch-side, popeyed, pride, provide, ride, Said, shied, slide, sloe-eyed, snide, square-eyed, starry-eyed, statewide, Strathclyde, stride, subdivide, subside, tide, tried, undyed, wall-eyed, wide, worldwide

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: side

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