Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To move sideways: sidled through the narrow doorway.
  • intransitive v. To advance in an unobtrusive, furtive, or coy way: swindlers who sidle up to tourists.
  • transitive v. To cause to move sideways: We sidled the canoe to the riverbank.
  • n. An unobtrusive, furtive, or coy advance.
  • n. A sideways movement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sideways movement.
  • n. A furtive advance.
  • v. To move sideways.
  • v. To advance in a furtive, coy or unobtrusive manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To go or move with one side foremost; to move sidewise.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move sidewise or obliquely; edge along slowly or with effort; go aslant, as while looking in another direction.
  • To saunter idly about in no particular direction.
  • To cause to move in a sidling manner; direct the course of sidewise.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. move unobtrusively or furtively
  • v. move sideways

Etymologies

Back-formation from sideling.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1690s, from Middle English sidlyng (early 14th century), as side + -lyng ("(frequentive)") (modern English side +‎ -le (“(frequentive)”)). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The instinct that we all have he should face some sort of electoral process is unlikely to trouble the incanting Labour Droogs hereabouts about for but for ordinary working men like me, a sinister clerk does not sidle from the shadows and thereby become Caesar.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • The Black Caucus in the House, even Charlie Rangel, who -- you know, who can get up on his high horse literally, pretty easily, even though Mr. Rangel did sort of kind of sidle up to it, there wasn't that -- that outcry that you would normally get from the Black Caucus when they think that a black person is being dealt with unfairly.

    CNN Transcript Jan 6, 2009

  • I have people come up to me all the time, kind of sidle up and nudge me in the ribs and say, hey, I hear you or see you on Imus -- I hear you on Imus, you know?

    CNN Transcript - Larry King Live: Don Imus Discusses Campaign 2000 - August 11, 2000

  • Every herdsman and shepherd knows the danger to be apprehended from the inclination of some of either kind to "sidle" off from the plain and beaten track and pluck the green leaves of the laurel to their own destruction.

    Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary Collated from his Diary by Benjamin Funk

  • Did they kind of sidle up to you and go, So, you're turning 50?

    Yahoo! Sports - Top News

  • Whenever someone whips out an iPhone on the subway, I kind of sidle over as if pulled by some kind of magnetic force, and steal furtive glances over their shoulder at their p ...

    PSFK

  • He was inquisitive and would sidle up to my mother on her towel and carefully remove each leaf.

    Bird Cloud

  • And the juniors behind us, in looking forward to the same freedoms that we will soon be tasting, sidle up close and in a whisper ask the name of my OB.

    Between Expectations

  • Actually, here in Hollywood where almost everyone in a coffee shop has a laptop rather than a book, the fact that a woman is reading a book at all probably tells Bob everything he needs to know to sidle up beside her and strike up a conversation.

    Allison Hill: Literary Seductions

  • You grab the remote, put Jane on pause, and sidle up to the coffee table to re-stack those gold-wrapped delights into a perfect pyramid.

    Rita Schiano: Beware Those Stinkin' Thinkin' Traps

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Comments

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  • "She sidles from her newlaid egg and waddles off." Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    January 1, 2008