Definition of sideways in English:


adverb & adjective

  • 1To, towards, or from the side.

    as adverb ‘she tilted her body sideways’
    as adjective ‘he hurried towards his office without a sideways glance’
    • ‘The Prince eyed me suspiciously from a sideways glance.’
    • ‘I tipped my head over to the side and shot a sideways smile at Alex.’
    • ‘Your core muscles are recruited in most of your daily body movements, whether you are bending over, turning your upper body or reaching sideways.’
    • ‘Robyn smiled back, then cast a sideways glance at the officer next to her.’
    • ‘I kept trying to back up, which was hard with the wall behind me, so I started scooting sideways towards the door.’
    • ‘Veon ran sideways, towards the pile of supplies by the ship's ramp.’
    • ‘It was not until I shot a sideways glance at my friend and noticed her strangely grey complexion that I realised not everything in the garden was rosy.’
    • ‘He nodded his head sideways towards the group of friends that he had been sitting with.’
    • ‘It was small and cramped and you couldn't travel without having to turn your body and walk sideways at some point.’
    • ‘Closing her eyes, she rolled her head back to rest upon the peak of the sofa-back before allowing it to loll sideways towards Sam, taking a look at him.’
    • ‘Feeling the cold air, Martina tucks her hands into the pockets of her raincoat, looking sideways towards Mike's pensive face.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the cyclone rose up off the ground and tilted sideways toward them, looking like a long snake.’
    • ‘Adrian gave her a sideways glance as they sat side by side in the sand on the beach and turned back to the face the ocean where the sun was starting to set into the water.’
    • ‘I gritted my teeth, looking sideways towards the ceiling briefly, trying not to lose my patience.’
    • ‘Yule trains alongside his rivals, and admits that he sneaks the odd sideways glance at them.’
    • ‘She often would face sideways or towards the rest of the band, which only added to the mystery of her performance.’
    • ‘I returned to my room, took off my shoes and headed towards my bed, casting a sideways glance at the small pile of wrapped presents at the foot of my bed.’
    • ‘Nick took a quick glance sideways to the other side of the rink, and immediately followed the example of the first man he saw.’
    • ‘He reached across Hornblower's broad shoulders pulling him towards him sideways.’
    • ‘Isaiah's eyes started to shift sideways towards Tara who was sitting next to him, but he caught himself and instead forced his gaze downward.’
    to the side, laterally, crabwise
    obliquely, indirectly, sidelong
    lateral, sideward, on the side, side to side
    oblique, indirect, sidelong, side
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1as adverb With one side facing forward.
      ‘the lorry slid sideways across the road’
      • ‘The doors slid open sideways, and Ves, taking just a step inside, was lucky not to get nipped on the backside as the doors closed shut, tightly behind him.’
      • ‘I used rudder, stick, and brakes to keep the jet from sliding sideways or departing the runway.’
      • ‘She tried to squeeze past them - first going forward, then sideways, finally backward.’
      • ‘He placed his hand on his lower back, stretched himself, bent forward and back and sideways, a slow smile growing on his face.’
      • ‘Kevin Fotheringham slid the ball sideways and James Smith drove an excellent shot, which flashed into the net behind the home goalkeeper.’
      • ‘I am pushed three steps sideways for every one forward.’
      • ‘Such an image suggests the very paradox of progress: does change move us forward, or merely sideways?’
      • ‘She slid sideways and put the tin foil-covered tray on the passenger side, then hopped out of the van.’
      • ‘The ship lurched forward and sideways as the men tried to take their seats on the bridge.’
      • ‘The tires grabbed for a second, then began to spin, and the truck slid sideways.’
      • ‘Moving on six articulated legs, the harvester advances forward and backward, sideways and diagonally.’
      • ‘She learned to scramble around and even run sideways, but not forward.’
      • ‘My front wheel hit the rear fender of the car and I ended up sliding along the road sideways.’
      • ‘How can a boat be steered if it is dragged both forward and back, sideways, and up and down?’
      • ‘He lost control of the wheel and the car spun around, slid sideways, and crashed into a fire hydrant.’
      • ‘So, put on your best shoes, go forward, sideways, then back.’
      • ‘I slammed on the brakes, slid sideways and stopped just before careening into a state road truck.’
      • ‘The book shelves slide forward, then sideways, and then back into the wall.’
      • ‘There are only two directions to travel now: forward or sideways.’
      • ‘All at once I understood the value of looking backward, forward, sideways, or in any direction for inspiration.’
      edgewise, sidewards, side first, edgeways, end on
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 So as to occupy a job or position at the same level as one previously held rather than be promoted or demoted.
      as adjective ‘after the reshuffle there were sideways moves for ministers’
      • ‘Dixon was moved sideways to Murrayfield as Director of Coaching.’
      • ‘Within three years two had been marched and one moved sideways yet Hugh moved on to head up the Retail Division of the bank.’
      • ‘Secretly I admire him but I do wonder if he is slipping sideways into journalism rather than scientific editorship.’
      • ‘He became known as the ‘Rhesus king’ of Manchester before moving sideways to a NHS post at St Mary's Hospital.’
      • ‘I don't know what post she was moved sideways from - possibly associate executive deputy assistant commissioner.’
      • ‘Gordon and Gotch have changed managers while the First Fleet manager in charge of the Sydney distribution has moved sideways.’
      • ‘Downer has done his time in Foreign Affairs and could easily be moved sideways to the related defence portfolio.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the acting director of rugby, Richie Dixon, will be moved sideways and made head of special projects.’
      • ‘He moves sideways from the health department, where he is one of two junior ministers, to become Margaret Curran's deputy at social justice.’
  • 2By an indirect way.

    as adverb ‘he came into politics sideways, as campaign manager for Ronald Reagan’
    • ‘Camper has always had a sort of sideways commentary on politics.’
    • ‘When he saw her out in the garden he bounded out, did the sideways approach, all huffed up and brave, and was all ready to challenge her to a bit of mayhem.’
    • ‘He smiled and took a sideways look at her on the sly.’
    1. 2.1as adjective From an unconventional or unorthodox viewpoint.
      ‘take a sideways look at daily life’
      • ‘But ‘No Angels’ also takes a sideways look at the often daft directives which are imposed on hospital staff.’
      • ‘Successfully fusing elements of comedy, tragedy, and a sideways look at life in one great film is what makes Terms Of Endearment such a marvel.’
      • ‘A sideways look at the state education system shows how professionals become in a system that does not focus on individuals.’
      • ‘The Other Side Of Dunkirk takes a sideways look at an event that has been considered one of the finest feats in Britain's war-time history from a different point of view.’
      • ‘Take Two captures a sideways look at the life of a single mother as she tries to run a small PR firm in the midlands.’


  • sideways on

    • From the side; side-on.

      ‘she was seeing him sideways on, all profile’
      • ‘With this in mind, it becomes easier, perhaps, to approach greatness sideways on, to see it through the eyes of families or friends, wives or siblings, than to grapple with it head on.’
      • ‘Stand sideways on to a bench, with one foot resting on top of the bench.’
      • ‘Eventually she launched forward at a man who was standing sideways on to her.’
      • ‘In terms of viewing angle, we found that you could look almost sideways on at the monitor without a skewing of colours.’
      • ‘The figure was smiling faintly, and facing his opponent sideways on, his right side pointing straight at the opposite figure.’
      • ‘During the first qualifying session of the day it was my turn in the car and, as I turned into turn three, I was faced by another BMW that had spun in the middle of the corner and was now stationary, sideways on.’
      • ‘The raft was now sideways on and half under water.’
      • ‘However by the thirteenth century foreign chroniclers refer to the ‘English’ way of shooting a bow where the archer stands sideways on to his target and draws back to his chin or ear.’
      • ‘Then if all else failed I could come up with an amusing comedy act where I faced the audience sideways on and looked like a man, but could then turn around and look like a horse.’
      • ‘As a new girl I was in the front row at assembly and the school choir was directly in front of me ranged in rows sideways on.’