Definition of beside in English:



  • 1At the side of; next to.

    ‘he sat beside me in the front seat’
    ‘the table beside the bed’
    • ‘They sat at one of the better tables up beside the parapet overlooking the courtyard.’
    • ‘The alarm goes off steadily on the bedside table beside the bed, two short double-beeps and a long.’
    • ‘She sat down beside me at the table, silent for a long moment before asking a question.’
    • ‘Aiden was kind enough to ask me to sit beside him at the table that he had all to himself.’
    • ‘Sitting at a window table beside the raised ring road we were hardly aware how much traffic was about.’
    • ‘I was sitting in a low chair with my laptop on a coffee table beside me.’
    • ‘He was content to sit there beside her, head on her shoulder, watching her write up her research notes.’
    • ‘He placed it on the table beside the love seat she had chosen, and sat down next to her.’
    • ‘She pulled a tissue out of the box on the table beside the bed and wiped her own cheeks with it.’
    • ‘Young boys sat beside the masters, learning by watching and then experimenting on a small scale.’
    • ‘Access is either through the side alleyway beside the pub or from the car park at the rear.’
    • ‘I had my lunch sitting beside the war memorial cross in an almost grotto-like setting.’
    • ‘A few clothes lie folded on a chair, make-up spread on a table beside her computer.’
    • ‘In the evening he stood beside me as I sat at my dressing table removing my make-up.’
    • ‘He wasn't surprised when the hunter arrived at the house later and sat beside him at the long table.’
    • ‘There was a small table with a bowl beside his bed and a person sat on a chair overlooking him.’
    • ‘When I found it in my pocket that night, I put it on the table beside my bed.’
    • ‘They managed to locate the man near the phone box and noticed that he had a petrol can sitting beside him.’
    • ‘She walked back to the trunk and took the photo out and placed it on the small table beside the bed.’
    • ‘Her husband, who was sitting beside her, sustained a whiplash injury and an injury to his shoulder.’
    alongside, by the side of, at the side of, next to, parallel to, abreast of, at someone's elbow, with, by
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    1. 1.1Compared with.
      ‘beside Paula she always felt clumsy’
      • ‘Just about everyone knows what it’s like to be unsure about his or her future, and to feel inadequate beside someone else.’
      • ‘She is so clever and intelligent, I look at her and think "Wow, I feel stupid beside her".’
      • ‘Don't feel ugly beside them, you're beautiful in a classy way.’
      • ‘But I feel ugly beside Willow and wonder how she can bring herself to look at me, never mind kiss me.’
      • ‘They might just feel stupid beside those who are much better than themselves.’
      • ‘I feel inadequate beside such a combination of beauty and formal writing education.’
      compared with, in comparison with, next to, against, contrasted with, in contrast to, in contrast with
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  • 2In addition to; apart from.

    ‘he commissioned work from other artists beside Minton’
    • ‘Are there other writers beside you who have done this?’
    • ‘My 1 year old son has no contact with other children beside his sister!’
    • ‘Generally speaking all persons who are capable of making wills may be executors, and some others beside, as infants and married women.’
    • ‘Some children acquire at home the habit of attention to the well-being of others beside themselves.’
    • ‘Our community has Japanese, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese and several others beside Mexicans.’
    • ‘I gathered these two and headed over to the customer service counter to ask if there were any others beside the ones on the shelf.’
    • ‘Students with a complaint often want to point to failings in the university's conduct of its affairs that affect other students beside themselves.’
    • ‘There are other animals beside dairy cows that are used for by-products while they are still alive.’
    • ‘She has four coordinators for the Web site, four other writers beside herself, several photographers and substantial technical assistance.’
    • ‘There are two other artists beside myself that I would like to incorporate into the fabric of my discussion.’
    • ‘“If there are others beside me who are going through the same physical symptoms, the medical community has an obligation to help us.”’
    • ‘They separated these poor girls, and others beside them, in several villages, and drove them out of the church.’
    • ‘You only give respect to people who respect others beside themselves.’
    • ‘Extra charges like snorkeling, canoeing and others beside the package rate are at the expense of the individual’
    • ‘Also I would like to find out if Willam had other children beside George in 1809.’


Some people say that beside should not be used to mean ‘apart from’ and that besides should be used instead (he commissioned work from other artists besides Minton rather than he commissioned work from other artists beside Minton). Although there is little logical basis for such a view, and in standard English both beside and besides are used for this sense, it is worth being aware of the potential ambiguity in the use of beside: beside the cold meat, there are platters of trout and salmon means either ‘the cold meat is next to the trout and salmon’ or ‘apart from the cold meat, there are also trout and salmon’


Old English be sīdan (adverb) ‘by the side’(see by, side).