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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
For an operator in the Permian Basin, previous sidetrack attempts with conventional cement plugs failed in the hard formation, requiring multiple trips in the hole and resulting in damaged directional bottomhole assemblies.
The greater mystery than what a sidetrack agreement is may be what it's even doing in the policy--along with some of the other definitions of "insured contract" that are also pretty obscure, with likely almost no applicability.
The sidetrack well encountered a total net pay section of 35 meters (115 feet), including 16 meters (52 feet) of net oil pay in the lower part of the Owo channel system.
In view of the increased orders' volume, the company is convinced that it will achieve its goal to become a leader on the Russian market for sidetrack drilling services, CEO Manfred Kastner said.
"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.
Angus Energy has applied for permission to carry out an appraisal of oil from a 'sidetrack' it drilled in a well in Old School Lane in January 2017, whichSurrey County Councilhas claimed it did not have permission to drill at the time.
Reportedly, a non-commercial gas discovery was made in the main well while the sidetrack was dry.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-September 23, 2011--Avaldsnes sidetrack confirms oil, Lundin Petroleum says(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS
WesternZagros Resources Ltd (TSX VENTURE:WZR), an international natural resources company, has started drilling the planned sidetrack in the Sarqala-1 well in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The reports claimed the duo wanted to sidetrack an investigation into Red Star's alleged links with organized crime and transfer irregularities.
Sidetrack, Chicago & Roxy, New York City (tie) Either invite 1,200 of your closest friends over for a night of trash TV or meet them all at Sidetrack, Chicago's sleek, supersize video bar (with37 television screens).
At the time these works seemed an odd sidetrack from the more expansive and physically straightforward landscape abstractions.
Then these substances sidetrack proteins produced as the result of cancer-stimulating genes called oncogenes.
"This is the third successful new well or sidetrack since approval of the 5 year field development plan.