Definition of sidle in US English:



  • no object, with adverbial of direction Walk in a furtive, unobtrusive, or timid manner, especially sideways or obliquely.

    ‘I sidled up to her’
    • ‘Shortly after my wife left for her evening walk, Zachery sidled up to me furtively.’
    • ‘But the real danger is when someone whose name you can't remember sidles over and expects to be introduced to whoever you're talking to.’
    • ‘One day, sitting outside the venue with a glass of wine, I was conscious of a man sidling over to my table and pleading: ‘I'm trying to get a ticket to Zipp!’’
    • ‘Richard Gere sidles gracefully into the plush hotel suite, seemingly oblivious of the swarm of activity around him.’
    • ‘Fed up and bored, Owen cast a furtive glance around the customs hall and then sidled over to Bret for a bit of a chat.’
    • ‘She sidled back onto the edge of the backseat, trying to give room for Matt's body to sleep comfortably.’
    • ‘Holland's voice is a remarkably supple instrument: her phrasing and the way she sidles up to notes is nearly miraculous.’
    • ‘Not getting the hint when they moved en-mass to the other side of the room, she sidled up to them again.’
    • ‘When a couple of teenagers sidled up and asked him to autograph their citations for under-age drinking, he regarded it as an honour to oblige.’
    • ‘With a ping the shiny doors of the elevators slid open and Jude sidled inside.’
    • ‘Kael sidled out the room, moving quickly past Mikah on his way out.’
    • ‘Coby glanced at me out of the corner of his eye and sidled away a few inches.’
    • ‘Even though he was fairly sure she couldn't touch him, he sidled to a side wall, trying to keep ahead of her.’
    • ‘I trust this lot, with their permanent sidling up to business interests, about as much as I trusted the last lot.’
    • ‘A waiter sidles up, but there is no way to communicate.’
    • ‘As soon as he was out of the room, he sidled against the wall, held his breath, and began to listen.’
    • ‘Little Johnny's late for school again, and sidles into the classroom just before lunch.’
    • ‘As they rode, Miri's horse sidled sideways nervously away from Amniteri, and Miri tried vainly to rein him in.’
    • ‘A furtive local sidled up to me holding a pad and a ballpoint.’
    • ‘Your first step onto the revolving disc that holds the tables can be a bit disconcerting and it's easy to get lost as your seat sidles away while you're loading up your plate.’
    creep, sneak, slink, slip, slide, skulk, prowl, steal, edge, inch, ease, worm, nose, move furtively, move with stealth, tread warily
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  • An act or instance of sidling.

    • ‘This album is an interesting mix of symbol and story, solo effort and collaboration, though it continues Dar's gradual sidle towards a more mainstream sound.’


Late 17th century: back-formation from sideling (see sidelong).