Definition of sideways in English:


adjective & adverb

  • 1To, towards, or from the side.

    as adverb ‘she tilted her body sideways’
    as adjective ‘he hurried towards his office without a sideways glance’
    • ‘Your core muscles are recruited in most of your daily body movements, whether you are bending over, turning your upper body or reaching sideways.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the cyclone rose up off the ground and tilted sideways toward them, looking like a long snake.’
    • ‘Veon ran sideways, towards the pile of supplies by the ship's ramp.’
    • ‘Feeling the cold air, Martina tucks her hands into the pockets of her raincoat, looking sideways towards Mike's pensive face.’
    • ‘The Prince eyed me suspiciously from a sideways glance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I tipped my head over to the side and shot a sideways smile at Alex.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was small and cramped and you couldn't travel without having to turn your body and walk sideways at some point.’
    • ‘He reached across Hornblower's broad shoulders pulling him towards him sideways.’
    • ‘Nick took a quick glance sideways to the other side of the rink, and immediately followed the example of the first man he saw.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I gritted my teeth, looking sideways towards the ceiling briefly, trying not to lose my patience.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He nodded his head sideways towards the group of friends that he had been sitting with.’
    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’
      • ‘There are only two directions to travel now: forward or sideways.’
      • ‘The tires grabbed for a second, then began to spin, and the truck slid sideways.’
      • ‘He placed his hand on his lower back, stretched himself, bent forward and back and sideways, a slow smile growing on his face.’
      • ‘All at once I understood the value of looking backward, forward, sideways, or in any direction for inspiration.’
      • ‘I am pushed three steps sideways for every one forward.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘How can a boat be steered if it is dragged both forward and back, sideways, and up and down?’
      • ‘Such an image suggests the very paradox of progress: does change move us forward, or merely sideways?’
      • ‘I slammed on the brakes, slid sideways and stopped just before careening into a state road truck.’
      • ‘He lost control of the wheel and the car spun around, slid sideways, and crashed into a fire hydrant.’
      • ‘The ship lurched forward and sideways as the men tried to take their seats on the bridge.’
      • ‘My front wheel hit the rear fender of the car and I ended up sliding along the road sideways.’
      • ‘Moving on six articulated legs, the harvester advances forward and backward, sideways and diagonally.’
      • ‘I used rudder, stick, and brakes to keep the jet from sliding sideways or departing the runway.’
      • ‘Kevin Fotheringham slid the ball sideways and James Smith drove an excellent shot, which flashed into the net behind the home goalkeeper.’
      • ‘The book shelves slide forward, then sideways, and then back into the wall.’
      • ‘She slid sideways and put the tin foil-covered tray on the passenger side, then hopped out of the van.’
      • ‘She learned to scramble around and even run sideways, but not forward.’
      • ‘So, put on your best shoes, go forward, sideways, then back.’
      • ‘She tried to squeeze past them - first going forward, then sideways, finally backward.’
      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’
      • ‘He moves sideways from the health department, where he is one of two junior ministers, to become Margaret Curran's deputy at social justice.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Gordon and Gotch have changed managers while the First Fleet manager in charge of the Sydney distribution has moved sideways.’
      • ‘I don't know what post she was moved sideways from - possibly associate executive deputy assistant commissioner.’
      • ‘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 became known as the ‘Rhesus king’ of Manchester before moving sideways to a NHS post at St Mary's Hospital.’
      • ‘Dixon was moved sideways to Murrayfield as Director of Coaching.’
  • 2By an indirect way.

    as adverb ‘he came into politics sideways, as campaign manager for Ronald Reagan’
    • ‘He smiled and took a sideways look at her on the sly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Camper has always had a sort of sideways commentary on politics.’
    1. 2.1as adjective From an unconventional or unorthodox viewpoint.
      ‘take a sideways look at daily life’
      • ‘A sideways look at the state education system shows how professionals become in a system that does not focus on individuals.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But ‘No Angels’ also takes a sideways look at the often daft directives which are imposed on hospital staff.’


  • sideways on

    • From the side; side-on.

      ‘she was seeing him sideways on, all profile’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Stand sideways on to a bench, with one foot resting on top of the bench.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The figure was smiling faintly, and facing his opponent sideways on, his right side pointing straight at the opposite figure.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Eventually she launched forward at a man who was standing sideways on to her.’
      • ‘The raft was now sideways on and half under water.’
      • ‘In terms of viewing angle, we found that you could look almost sideways on at the monitor without a skewing of colours.’
      • ‘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.’