sideline

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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 ?
Muffs are commonplace as well, because, first, the kick is angling away from the returner; second, the receiver must field the ball off the ground; and, third, the receiver fears stepping on the sideline and may take his eyes off the ball.
The QB throws to a point 25-30 yards downfield and 4-6 yards from the sideline.
During the third quarter, he stood between linebacker Brandon Chillar and lineman Ryan Boschetti on the sidelines, and the three laughed, slapped hands and whooped it up as the UCLA offense continued to impress.
Anti-Spam specialists at the BLOC, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, evaluate newly detected spam and issue updated rules that sideline the spam at each customer's Spam Wall(TM).
I know what's normal on the sidelines,'' Siragusa said.
You can tell some things on the sidelines that you can't tell in the game, like seeing the other players, their options and giving them advice.
Bob Graham, who is expected to announce next month whether he will run for president, worked as a member of the chain gang on the sidelines, holding the down marker and also the chains.
Working on the chain gang: Florida senator Bob Graham, who is expected to announce next month whether he will run for president, worked as a member of the chain gang on the sidelines, holding the down marker and also the chains.
Kezirian, the team's academic adviser, has roamed the sidelines as a coach before.
On the sidelines for Friday's Notre Dame-Palmdale game was exiled baseball legend Pete Rose, a Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks parent who drew a lot of attention.
My friends from the old days saw some fat guy on the sidelines in a blue shirt with UCLA on the chest,'' he said.
Kicked upstairs: After roaming and occasionally roasting on the sidelines for UCLA's radio broadcasts the past four seasons, Matt Stevens finally has press-box access.
When she asked - begged, really - to be allowed to come back and cheer on the sidelines at the homecoming game with the other cheerleaders, the school's administration said no - only enrolled students were allowed on the sidelines.
I told the players I won't embarrass you on the sidelines and I won't embarrass you in the press.
For much of the past two months, Lavin has been more passionate on the sidelines.