take a backseat, to

take a backseat

1. To be given a lower priority. Unfortunately, I had the flu last week, so everything else around the house had to take a back seat.
2. To willingly take a less prominent role in some situation. I took a back seat during the presentation because I knew you could handle it.
See also: backseat, take
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

take a backseat, to

To occupy an inferior or relatively obscure position. Equating the backseat of a vehicle with inferiority dates from mid-nineteenth century America. Max Beerbohm used the figure of speech in Around Theatres (1902): “He brought on a circus procession . . . and Oxford had to take a back seat.”
See also: take, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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