take a backseat

take a backseat (to someone or something)

Fig. to become less important than someone or something else. My homework had to take a backseat to football during the playoffs. Jimmy always took a backseat to his older brother, Bill, until Bill went away to college.
See also: backseat, take

take a backseat (to somebody)

to let someone else deal with something I was happy to take a backseat and let my brother deal with the family crisis.
Etymology: based on the idea of sitting in the backseat of a car and letting someone else drive
See also: backseat, take

take a backseat (to something)

to be considered to be less important than something else For many kids, homework takes a backseat to sports.
See also: backseat, take
References in periodicals archive ?
But like many women's music festivals, the tunes often take a backseat to the event itself, since artists, craftswomen, drum workshops, basketball games, and vendors create a marvelous minimetropolis.
National Security Council anti-terror official Rand Beers takes a stand and resigns, reportedly over concerns that the war on terror will take a backseat to the war in Iraq.