take a backseat

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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 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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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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