sideline

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stay on the sideline(s)

1. In sports, to stay outside the boundaries of the playing area because one is not participating in the game, due to being a substitute, injured, etc. Unfortunately that knee injury will force her to stay on the sidelines for the rest of the season.
2. By extension, to not be an active participant in something. If you want the boss to notice you, you can't just stay on the sideline during these meetings. Speak up and suggest some ideas! It appears as though the superpowers will be staying on the sidelines, rather than taking an active role in this conflict.
See also: on, stay

on the sidelines

In a position in which one is not actively participating in something. If you want the boss to notice you, you can't just stay on the sidelines during these meetings. Speak up and suggest some ideas! It appears as though the superpowers will be staying on the sidelines, rather than taking an active role in this conflict.
See also: on, sideline

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

on the sidelines

If you are on the sidelines in a situation, you watch it happening but are not directly involved and cannot influence it. France no longer wants to be left on the sidelines when critical decisions are taken. The government has just stood on the sidelines up to now and let the situation get worse.
See also: on, sideline

on (or from) the sidelines

in (or from) a position where you are observing a situation but are unable or unwilling to be directly involved in it.
In sports such as football and basketball, the sidelines mark the long edges of a playing area, behind which spectators, coaches, and other non-players must remain.
See also: on, sideline

on the ˈsidelines

watching something but not taking an active part in it; waiting to take an active part in something: The Prime Minister’s husband talked about what it was like on the sidelines of political life.He’s waiting on the sidelines for a chance to re-enter politics.
The sidelines are the lines along the sides of a sports field that mark the outer edges.
See also: on, sideline
References in periodicals archive ?
The use of sideline props also can backfire, something Tennessee learned last year.
Assuming that teams call plays independently of sideline location, the first and third quarter side changes make for a natural experiment that happens twice within every game.
Only hours after Kerry spoke, Marziyeh Afkham, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, dismissed the idea of working from the sidelines as demeaning.
Arizona's coach Mike Stoops is the unofficial leader in Pac-10 sideline violations (flagged or not) during his tenure with the Wildcats.
Iran is ready to export per day some 200 million cubic foot of natural gas of its Foruzan field to Saudi Arabia, Iranian Oil Deputy Minister told in a meeting with Saudi Oil Minister on the sidelines of World Petrol Congress in Madrid.
He could be joined on the sidelines by club skipper Paul Sculthorpe.
ACCORDING to Mike German, the Liberal Democrats will not stand idly on the sidelines while Plaid cosy up to Labour.
"The dressing room is the place for that, not the sidelines.
However, several handlers of the material say that more buyers, who had helped to drive the market earlier this year, are now sitting on the sidelines, even as copper prices slip.
Unlucky defender Tony McMahon was today contemplating another long spell on the sidelines following a horror challenge at Charlton.
Amnesia for the event itself is very frequent, but may include inability to remember the score, the opponent, the location of the game, or getting to the sidelines after the injury.
If a koala collects four or more leaves, it has an offspring, and a koala is added from the sidelines in the next round.
Iain Balshaw's hopes making a Six Nations return for England look over after being told he faces up to three months on the sidelines. The Bath fullback damaged a shoulder in last weekend's European tie with Montauban and a scan has revealed a grade three injury to his AC joint.
The byword is caution, as people wait on the sidelines, hesitant to plunge into the current market with its many unknowns, among them, the short and long-term economic viability of downtown's commercial office, retail, hospitality and residential sectors; whether displaced companies who have moved to New Jersey or the suburbs will return to Manhattan; whether tourism and retail can recover to pump lost millions back into the New York City economy.
Japan, China and South Korea are planning to hold their second summit on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore next month, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa said Monday.