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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 ?
But despite being sidetracked, I signed the $12,000 job.
Children got sidetracked because they included more elaboration and lost track of the original story line.
As for the process for his beatification, it is not being sidetracked at all."
Some, like Hal Ashby, were sidetracked by drugs or other personal problems.
This edition is also valuable for the new perceptions generated by the "Lettere Poetiche." Molinari's introduction (ix-xliv) reconstructs the chronology of the revision and ends with the very suggestive claim that, overall, Tasso's revision reflects a pattern quite similar to the plot of Tasso's chival ric epic, at least before the final conquest of Jerusalem: an initial determination to fulfill a prime objective (in this case submitting the retouched poem for immediate publication) is sidetracked and delayed by various diversionary adventures (the experimenting with additions and deletions), temptations (to reorder the original narrative structure), and doubts.
Their concern was that with so much attention paid to other aspects of the liturgy -- the prayers of the faithful, the homily, the hymns -- the enormous importance of the Eucharist, with the Consecration of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ as well as the reception of the Eucharist in Communion, is sometimes sidetracked.
Although Clark seems to become sidetracked to rather peripheral issues in the concluding chapter ("A Vision of Peace," wherein he calls for nothing less than a radical democratic socialist transformation of the U.S., arguments and conclusions best left to another volume), the compelling fact that his arguments received so little media coverage before, during, and after the conflict is a serious indictment of the purported, adversary role of the U.S.
Her goal of serving as a juvenile court judge was sidetracked when she became immersed in timbersale contracts, land-line disputes, and later timber-tax law and environmental aspects of growing timber with Sizemore and Sizemore, Inc.
Since the last report, the 1 1/2" hole was sidetracked from 2,099mMDRT to 2,681mMDRT.
The 40-year-old surgeon set out to drive the boy to school but was sidetracked by an emergency call and spent the day in surgery.
He isn't sidetracked by ruinous and tired debates about who should be the party's leader.
is called, is sidetracked when he meets and falls in love with Anne Corley.
"The Senate has already sidetracked this divisive and unwise amendment," said Barry W.