take a backseat

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take a backseat

1. To be deemed less important than something else. Unfortunately, I had the flu last week, so everything else around the house had to take a back seat.
2. To willingly forgo a prominent role in some area. I took a back seat during the presentation because I knew you could handle it.
See also: backseat, take

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

take a back seat

Occupy an inferior position; allow another to be in control. For example, Linda was content to take a back seat and let Nancy run the meeting. This idiom uses back seat in contrast to the driver's seat, that is, the one in control. [Mid-1800s]
See also: back, seat, take

take a back seat

COMMON
1. If you take a back seat, you allow other people to have all the power, importance, or responsibility. I was happy to take a back seat and give someone else the opportunity to manage the project. I always used to take a back seat and let people get on with it.
2. If one thing takes a back seat to another, people give the first thing less attention because it is less important or interesting than the other thing. It is true that in the Apollo programme science took a back seat to technology and engineering. As the novel progresses, the war takes a back seat to the growing romance between Harvey and Martha.
See also: back, seat, take

take a back seat

take or be given a less important position or role. Compare with in the driver's seat (at driver).
See also: back, seat, take

take a back ˈseat

change to a less important role or function: After forty years in the business, it’s time for me to take a back seat and let someone younger take over. OPPOSITE: in the driving seat
See also: back, seat, take