Definition of sideswipe in US English:



  • 1North American A glancing blow from or on the side of something, especially a motor vehicle.

    • ‘And there's now new research offering ways to prevent head injury, especially from 4-wheel-drives, which can be even more hazardous in sideswipes.’
    • ‘I could understand how a sideswipe might do that, but I am just trying to understand how a collision of the kind that occurred would do that.’
  • 2A passing critical remark about someone or something.

    • ‘In one verse he introduced a sideswipe at the repressive legal system of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (again something he criticized in his earlier historical novel, Barnaby Rudge).’
    • ‘I believe ‘Foucault's Pendulum’ is Mr Eco's way of poking fun at the overly gullible whilst also having a sideswipe at conspiracy theories and generally showing off his vast knowledge.’
    • ‘Isn't that a little sideswipe at him in the first paragraph?’
    • ‘The good thing about Kenny is that you can take a friendly sideswipe at him, and he doesn't take offence.’
    • ‘And in a sideswipe at some of his peers, many of whom he feels are languishing in the comfort zone, he refused to pull his punches.’
    • ‘It's so true to the scene that it almost feels like a documentary and comes devoid of moralistic sideswipes: there are no evil dealers or manipulative promoters, no troublemakers showing up with guns or deaths from overdoses.’
    • ‘He also took a sideswipe at the media for ‘hammering’ him in the past week in a hypocritical fashion.’
    • ‘The rich and the famous are as vulnerable as anybody else to the sideswipes of fate, and perhaps more so since the artificial demands imposed on their lives means they are less authentically connected to the pulse of destiny.’
    • ‘He was now thinking on his feet, his strategy for dealing with what he thought was going to be a straightforward interview had been dealt a sideswipe by this unexpected manoeuvre.’
    • ‘The employers' group also took a sideswipe at rising costs emanating from the sheltered sectors of the economy.’
    • ‘Scotland's leading chef, Andrew Fairlie, has taken a sideswipe at celebrity TV cook culture which, he says, makes him ‘cringe’.’
    • ‘Goannas use a sideswipe with their heavy tail as their main weapon of defence and have been known to break the leg of a pursuing dog.’
    • ‘These are some pretty hardcore vitriolic comments mixed with anger and if you notice, they take a sideswipe at us too for printing them.’
    • ‘Only when she reaches her lowest point do we start to get a sense of her past and see genuine reactions to the sideswipes that she appears to brush off happily.’
    • ‘But if they dislike something, they should at least use reasoned analysis rather than wild sideswipes of opinion.’
    • ‘Earby's parish council clerk for the past 10 years has stepped down with a tear in her eye and a sideswipe at those too quick to criticise the best efforts of their hard working local representatives.’
    • ‘They have always been the ones to promote the air of inevitability about his latest move, and, equally, to make sideswipes at those who might get in his way.’
    • ‘But there are few if any satirical sideswipes or caustic commentaries on the people living day to day in his fiction.’
    • ‘This may sound like a classic love triangle, but there is little time for romance with all those wry sideswipes at the Western genre.’
    • ‘This left O'Neill unable to resist a sideswipe at his title rivals.’


[with object]North American
  • Strike (someone or something) with or as if with a glancing blow.

    ‘Curtis jerked the wheel hard over and sideswiped the other car’
    • ‘Thankfully, she'd parked in his wide driveway so no one would have to worry about a plow sideswiping her car during the night.’
    • ‘A drunk driver failed to see her bright flashing lights, sideswiped her vehicle, and plowed into the back of the truck.’
    • ‘As the glaring bright light blinded us for a split second, we heard a sickening metal screech as the semi sideswiped Mom's car and just barely missed doing the same to mine.’
    • ‘As they approached on foot, the van backed toward them, knocking one trooper down, hitting the patrol car, and then getting sideswiped as it entered the traffic lane still in reverse.’
    • ‘Andy Sullivan was driving his GM camper through a stop sign at 21st and Mathers near the top of the hill when the dump truck sideswiped his vehicle.’
    • ‘For fear of being sideswiped he did not park his car by itself.’
    • ‘The three cars on his tail tried to block his escape routes, but the man drove straight into the first vehicle, pushed past a second and sideswiped a third before driving off.’
    • ‘He thought of the truck that had sideswiped him, leading to his decision to turn off the highway to wait until morning to continue his journey.’
    • ‘I saw only the aftermath, but witnesses said the driver swerved in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid striking a black Acura (in the foreground, above) and after sideswiping the car veered left across opposing lanes, flipping on its side.’
    • ‘Then, last week, someone nearly sideswiped me while executing a left turn through an intersection on a busy, two-lane street.’
    • ‘There was some concern that a train on another track could sideswipe the mirror causing damage.’
    • ‘The skidding Mercedes glanced off the key booth, sideswiping the concrete columns at the entry making a loud, grinding clash.’
    • ‘This is once again the natterings of those most threatened by the rise of social media, who see their business model being sideswiped by something large and fast-moving, but whose exact shape and dimensions they cannot fathom.’
    • ‘He nearly sideswiped a mailbox in his determination.’
    • ‘A passing bus driver, presumably failing to observe the proximity of the sign, sideswiped it with his external rear-view mirror causing it to fall from its position and strike the plaintiff, injuring her.’
    • ‘The suspect car sideswiped two oncoming vehicles before hitting a third vehicle and coming to a stop.’
    • ‘Muhammad fell after the bike was sideswiped by the bus.’
    • ‘After a high-speed chase through the still Ohio dawn, Ford sideswiped a tree and came to a halt at the end of a cul-de-sac.’
    • ‘How they meet, though, is what changes things for them both, as they manage to sideswipe each other in their cars on a motorway and cause an accident.’
    • ‘On a suburban street where drifts of red and gold leaves line the green lawns, a car is lurching perilously - nearly missing a boy on a bike, sideswiping another car.’