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(off) on a sidetrack

1. Addressing a topic or topics not relevant to the main discussion. I tried to address the customer's problem, but she kept going off on a sidetrack and I couldn't understand what her true complaint was. In the middle of our conversation about my finances, my advisor went on a sidetrack about current events.
2. Branching off into some entirely different field, profession, or pursuit. I actually studied and trained as a pianist before going off on a side track into metallurgy. Our company was originally focused on developing new, original games for modern hardware, but about 10 years ago we went on a sidetrack and just kind of became a full-time porting company for other studios.
See also: on, sidetrack

*off on a sidetrack

Fig. on a digression; discussing a topic that is not the main topic. (Alludes to a train waiting on a siding. *Typically: be ~; get ~; get someone~.) Anne got off on a sidetrack and never returned to her topic. The ineffective committee got off on one sidetrack after another.
See also: off, on, sidetrack
References in periodicals archive ?
Drilling ahead in 12 1/4" sidetrack hole at 2,099mMDRT
Beneath the oil pay, the Owo-1 sidetrack well also discovered 13 meters of net condensate pay and an additional 6 meters of gas pay in the deepest sand encountered.
We're really excited to have Brainstorm Digital and Sidetrack Films join us in DUMBO," said Caroline Thebaud, Associate Director of Leasing for Two Trees.
Oil and natural gas company Miller Energy Resources Inc (NYSE:MILL) and its wholly owned Alaskan operating subsidiary , Cook Inlet Energy, jointly revealed on Monday that their RU-2 Sidetrack (RU-2A) well was successfully brought online upon completion on 20 June 2013.
23 September 2011 - Swedish Lundin Petroleum AB (STO:LUPE) said today the sidetrack of the second appraisal well in the Avaldsnes field in the North Sea has confirmed a high-quality oil reservoir.
The firm aims to drill a 100 metre sidetrack from the cased wellbore to test the Jeribe reservoir.
Faroes request to drill the sidetrack well follows the result of the Brasse exploration well, which could allow a tie-in to the Brage platform.
ST) announced today that the Carla South I-7 ST-1 sidetrack to the I-7 exploration well in Block I has encountered oil in good quality sandstones.
The size of the discovery is so far not determined and a sidetrack well will be drilled right after the current well has been completed.
The partnership has now decided to drill a sidetrack to help confirm both the reservoir distribution and hydrocarbon contacts.
International Resource News-14 January 2010-Oilex's Lolotoe-1 well drills sidetrack hole to 3,770 metres(C)2010 ENPublishing - http://www.
The field was originally to be closed down in February this year but with the help of sidetrack drilling Statoil will be able to keep the field profitable until 2008.