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Related to sidelined: prioritise, reassess

on the sidelines

not actively involved in something The majority of Western countries decided to stay on the sidelines during the crisis.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of sidelines (the lines that mark the outer edges of a playing field)
See also: on, sideline

stay on the sidelines

to not be actively involved in something
Usage notes: The sidelines are the lines that mark the edges of a sports field.
The majority of western countries decided to stay on the sidelines during the crisis in the Middle East.
See also: on, sideline, stay

on the sidelines

Observing rather than taking part, out of the action, as in Bolivia's neighbors remained on the sidelines, waiting to see which faction in the dispute would prevail . This idiom comes from sports. The sidelines are the two lines defining the sides of the court or playing field and the area immediately beyond them where, in such sports as football, the non-playing team members sit. [First half of 1900s]
See also: on, sideline
References in periodicals archive ?
2 tight end, with starters Alex Holmes and Dominique Byrd sidelined with injuries.
Deadmarsh, the team leader with nine goals even though he has been sidelined for nine games since Nov.
With Ziggy Palffy sidelined for his second consecutive game with a groin pull, the Kings were missing two of their top six forwards.
SOCCER: Brazilian star Ronaldo plans to see a specialist in Paris in hopes of ending the string of hamstring injuries that have repeatedly sidelined him.
Mair out: Adam Mair, a minor-league center acquired from Toronto last February for defenseman Aki Berg, is expected to be sidelined a month to six weeks after suffering a badly fractured left orbital bone during a game with the Manchester Monarchs.
Palffy, last year's top Kings scorer, has been sidelined four games.
Fiset, sidelined 10 weeks after injuring the same knee during an exhibition game, was struck directly on the knee by the helmet of Minnesota's Wes Walz in a collision in the Kings' net.
Glen Murray, sidelined the past month after undergoing surgery on his right knee, participated in his first workout with the team since the injury.
Barrie, a scorer throughout his minor-league career, played five weeks on the Kings' first line when Jozef Stumpel was sidelined with a hernia.
Ankle and knee injuries sidelined Evans for parts of six games this season, but the sophomore still gained 781 yards on 76 carries, and gained 276 yards in the bowl game.