Definition of side noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary





1 [countable, usually singular] either of the two halves of a surface, an object, or an area that is divided by an imaginary central lineThey drive on the left side of the road in the Bahamas.the right side of the brainsatellite links to the other side of the worldShe was on the far side of the room.They crossed from one side of the city to the other.Stay on your side of the bed!2 [countable, usually singular] a position or an area to the left or right of somethingThere is a large window on either side of the front door.He crossed the bridge to the other side of the river.people on both sides of the AtlanticShe tilted her head to one side.

not top or bottom

3 [countable] one of the flat surfaces of something that is not the top or bottom, front or backWrite your name on the side of the box.There's a scratch on the side of my car.The kitchen door is at the side of the house.a side door/entrance/windowNow lay the jar on its side.A notice was stuck to the side of the filing cabinet.4 [countable] the vertical or sloping surface around something, but not the top or bottom of itA path went up the side of the hill.Brush the sides of the pan with butter. see also hillside, mountainside


5 [countable] a part or an area of something near the edge and away from the middleShe stood at the far side of the room, hoping not to be noticed.A van was parked at the side of the road.the south side of the lakeThe player received treatment on the side of the court.We planted tulips along the side of the lawn. see also bedside, fireside, ringside, riverside, roadside, seaside

of body

6 [countable, usually singular] either the right or left part of a person's body, from the armpit (= where the arm joins the body) to the hipShe has a pain down her right side.He was lying on his side.

near to someone or something

7 [singular] a place or position very near to someone or somethingStay close by my side.Her husband stood at her side.

of something flat and thin

8 [countable] either of two surfaces of something flat and thin, such as paper or clothWrite on one side of the paper only.Fry the steaks for two minutes on each side.


9 [countable] the amount of writing needed to fill one side of a sheet of paperHe told us not to write more than three sides.


10 [countable] any of the flat surfaces of a solid objectA cube has six sides.11 [countable] any of the lines that form a flat shape such as a square or trianglea shape with five sidesThe farm buildings form three sides of a square.


12 used in adjectives to state the number or type of sidesa six-sided objecta glass-sided container

in war/argument

13 [countable] one of the two or more people or groups taking part in an argument, war, etc.Each side is capable of destroying the other in a nuclear war.We have finally reached an agreement acceptable to all sides.At some point during the war he seems to have changed be on the winning/losing sideThere are faults on both sides.The two sides announced a deal yesterday.14 [countable] one of the opinions, attitudes, or positions held by someone in an argument, a business arrangement, etc.We heard both sides of the argument.I just want you to hear my side of the story first.Will you keep your side of the bargain?


15 [countable] a particular aspect of something, especially a situation or a person's characterThese poems reveal her gentle side.This is a side of Alan that I never knew existed.the darker side of human natureIt's good you can see the funny side of the situation.I'll take care of that side of things.

sports team

16 [countable] a sports teamAs captain, Price is confident of leading his side to victory.Their side won by 12 points.We were on the winning/losing side.

of family

17 [countable] the part of your family that people belong to who are related either to your mother or to your fathera cousin on my father's side (= a child of my father's brother or sister)


18 [countable] (informal) = side dishYour dinner comes with a choice of two sides.


19 [countable] a side of beef/bacon, etc. one of the two halves of an animal that has been killed for meat

be on someone's side

to support and agree with someone
I'm definitely on your side in this.Whose side are you on anyway?be on side

come down on one side of the fence or the other

to choose between two possible choices
come down on one side of the fence or the other

err on the side of something

to show too much of a good quality
I thought it was better to err on the side of caution (= to be too careful rather than take a risk).err on the side of

from side to side

moving to the left and then to the right and then back again
He shook his head slowly from side to side.The ship rolled from side to side.from side to side

from/on the wrong side of the tracks

from or living in a poor area or part of town
from the wrong side of the trackson the wrong side of the tracks

get on the right/wrong side of someone

to make someone pleased with you/annoyed with you
get on the right side ofget on the wrong side of

the grass is (always) greener on the other side (of the fence)

(saying) said about people who never seem happy with what they have and always think that other people have a better situation than they havethe grass is greener on the other sidethe grass is always greener on the other side of the fence

have something on your side

to have something as an advantage that will make it more likely that you will achieve something
She may not win this year, but she does have youth on her side.have on your side

know which side your bread is buttered (on)

(informal) to know where you can get an advantage for yourselfknow which side your bread is butteredknow which side your bread is buttered on

look on the bright side

to be cheerful or positive about a bad situation, for example by thinking only of the advantages and not the disadvantages
look on the bright side

not leave someone's side

to stay with someone, especially in order to take care of them
not leave side

on/from all sides


on/from every side

in or from all directions; everywhere
We realized we were surrounded on all sides.Disaster threatens on every side.She was bombarded with questions from all sides.on all sidesfrom all sides

on the big, small, high, etc. side

(informal) slightly too big, small, high, etc.These shoes are a little on the tight side.Don't you think you're a bit on the short side to play basketball?on the big, small, high, etc. side

on the credit side

used to introduce the good points about someone or something, especially after the bad points have been mentioned
On the credit side, she's always willing to work very late.on the credit side

on the distaff side

(old-fashioned) on the woman's side of the familyon the distaff side

on/to one side

1 out of your wayI sat down and put my bags on one side.2 to be dealt with laterI put his complaint to one side until I had more time.Leaving that to one side for now, are there any other questions?on one sideto one side

on the other side of the fence

in a situation that is different from the one that you are in
on the other side of the fence

on the right/wrong side of 40, 50, etc.

(informal) younger or older than 40, 50, etc. years of ageon the right side of 40, 50, etc.on the wrong side of 40, 50, etc.

on the safe side

being especially careful; taking no risks
I took some extra cash just to be on the safe side.on the safe side

on the side

(informal)1 in addition to your main joba mechanic who buys and sells cars on the side2 secretly or illegallyHe's married but he has a girlfriend on the side.3 (of food in a restaurant) served at the same time as the main part of the meal, but on a separate plate; served next to something rather than on top of itI'd like a green salad, with the dressing on the side.on the side

on the wrong side of the law

in trouble with the police
on the wrong side of the law

the other side of the coin

the aspect of a situation that is the opposite of or contrasts with the one you have been talking about
the other side of the coin

right side up

with the top part turned to the top; in the correct, normal position
I dropped my toast, but luckily it fell right side up. antonym upside downright side up

side by side

1 close together and facing in the same directionThere were two children ahead, walking side by side.2 together, without any difficultiesWe have been using both systems, side by side, for two years.The two communities exist happily side by side.side by side

split your sides (laughing/with laughter)

to laugh a lot at someone or something
split your sidessplit your sides laughing laughtersplit your sidessplit your sides with laughter

take sides

to express support for someone in a disagreement
She didn't think it was wise to take sides in their argument.take sides

take/draw someone to one side

to speak to someone in private, especially in order to warn or tell them about something
take to one sidedraw to one side

a thorn in someone's side

a person or thing that repeatedly annoys someone or stops them from doing something
a thorn in side

two sides of the same coin

used to talk about two ways of looking at the same situation
two sides of the same coin