Meaning of SIDE in English


I. side 1 S1 W1 /saɪd/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ]

1 . PART OF AN AREA one of the two areas that are on the left or the right of an imaginary line, or on the left or the right of a border, wall, river etc

side of

The south side of town is pretty run down.

on the ... side

a scar on the right side of his face

Fuel is cheaper on the French side of the border.

to one/the side

She tilted her head to one side, pretending to consider the question.

A man stood watching me from the other side of the road.

His friends and family were all on the other side of the world.

The restaurant was empty apart from another couple on the far side of the room (=the area that is furthest away from you) .

the right-hand/left-hand side (=the right side or the left side)

In Sri Lanka they drive on the left-hand side of the road.

2 . NEXT TO [usually singular] a position directly next to someone or something, on the right or the left

on this/one side (of somebody/something)

Stand on this side of me so Dad can get a photo.

at sb’s side/at the side of something

A little girl was skipping along at her side.

There was a card tacked to the wall at the side of the photograph.

on either side (of something)

Two large screens stood on either side of the stage (=one on the left and one on the right side of it) .

to sb’s side

Maggie hurried to his side.

3 . OF A BUILDING/OBJECT/VEHICLE ETC a surface of something that is not its front, back, top, or bottom

side of

He led the way round to the side of the building.

the side of her glass

Someone ran into the side of my car.

high-sided/straight-sided etc

high-sided vehicles

a straight-sided dish

4 . EDGE the part of an object or area that is furthest from the middle, at or near the edge

side of

Jack sat down heavily on the side of the bed.

She pulled into the side of the road and stopped the car.

⇨ ↑ fireside , ↑ lakeside , ↑ riverside , ↑ roadside , ↑ seaside 1

5 . OF A THIN OBJECT one of the two surfaces of a thin flat object

side of

Write on only one side of the paper.

I’ll paint the other side of the fence tomorrow.

There’s a scratch on one side of the record.

6 . PART OF YOUR BODY the part of your body from the top of your arm to the top of your leg:

He had a scar running right the way down his side.

Betty was lying on her side on the bed.

7 . SHAPE one of the flat surfaces or edges of a shape:

A cube has six sides.

three-sided/four-sided etc

a seven-sided coin

8 . MOUNTAIN/VALLEY one of the sloping areas of a hill, mountain etc

side of

Their house was on the side of the valley.


sheep grazing on the steep hillside

steep-sided/sheer-sided etc

a steep-sided valley

9 . PAGE British English a page of writing on one side of a piece of paper:

How many sides have we got to write?

10 . side by side

a) next to each other:

We walked along the beach, side by side.

b) if people work side by side, they work together to achieve something

side by side with

Local citizens worked side by side with emergency crews to pull their neighbors out of the rubble.

c) if different things or groups exist side by side, they exist in the same place or at the same time, even though this may seem difficult or surprising:

a visit to see how modern agriculture and wildlife can exist side by side

11 . from side to side first to one side, then to the other, several times or continuously:

‘Did you catch him?’ Matthew shook his head from side to side.

swing/rock/sway from side to side

The boat rocked violently from side to side.

12 . SUBJECT/SITUATION one part or feature of something, especially when compared with another part

technical/financial/social etc side

She takes care of the financial side of the business.

serious/funny/negative/positive etc side

Can’t you see the funny side of all this?

Environmental pollution gives great cause for concern, but, on the positive side, people are beginning to try and find solutions.

Look on the bright side (=see the good side of a situation) – at least you learned something from the experience.

It’s a children’s book about fairies and magic, but it does have a dark side.

13 . ARGUMENT/WAR one of the people, groups, or countries opposing each other in a quarrel, war etc:

He fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

a peace deal that is acceptable to both sides

During the war, he changed sides several times.

be on sb’s side (=support them)

Well, at least someone’s on my side.

whose side are you on? spoken (=used when someone is arguing against you when they should be supporting you)

He always likes to be on the winning side.

14 . OPINION one person’s opinion or attitude in an argument or disagreement SYN point of view :

Try and see my side of things for a change!

Well, I can see both sides. They both have a point.

sb’s side of the story (=one person’s opinion of what happened in a situation, especially someone who has been accused of doing something wrong)

We haven’t heard Mike’s side of the story yet.

15 . take sides to choose to support one person or group in an argument, and oppose the other one

16 . SPORT British English a sports team:

They’re a good side, but I think we’re a better one.

17 . PART OF SB’S CHARACTER [usually singular] one part of someone’s character, especially when compared with another part

side of

It was a side of Shari that I hadn’t seen before.

There was a side to him that worried her, that seemed cold and cruel.

sb’s softer/feminine/emotional etc side

These days men are not all afraid to show their softer side.

18 . OF A FAMILY a part of a family:

My father’s side of the family are short, but my mother’s side are tall.

19 . sb’s side of a deal/bargain what someone agrees to do as part of an agreement:

The Russians kept their side of the bargain, and pulled out of East Germany.

20 . on the side

a) used to say that someone does work in addition to their regular job:

Most consultants do private work on the side.

⇨ ↑ sideline 1 (1)

b) secretly, and dishonestly or illegally:

His wife discovered that he had a woman on the side.

⇨ a bit on the side at ↑ bit 3

c) food that is served on the side is ordered with the main dish in a restaurant, but is not usually part of that dish:

I’d like eggs with toast on the side.

21 . FOOD American English a small amount of food that you order in a restaurant in addition to your main meal

side of

a hamburger with a side of fries

22 . on/from all sides ( also on/from every side )

a) in or from every direction:

Planes were attacking us from all sides.

The town is surrounded on all sides by vineyards.

b) by or from a lot of people with different opinions:

Clinton was praised on all sides for his warm manner and diplomatic approach.

23 . put/leave/set something to one side to save something to be dealt with or used later:

Let’s leave that question to one side for now.

Put a little money to one side each week.

24 . be at sb’s side/stay by sb’s side/not leave sb’s side to be with someone, and take care of them or support them:

He faced the reporters with his wife at his side.

She nursed him through his illness, never leaving his side.

25 . take/draw somebody to one side to take someone away from other people for a short time for a private talk:

Before they left, Colette took me to one side and warned me about Bernard.

26 . have something on your side/something is on your side used to say that you have an advantage that increases your chances of success

have time/luck/God/right etc on your side

Barnes didn’t have much experience, but he had youth and enthusiasm on his side.

27 . get on the wrong side of somebody to annoy someone or make them angry, especially someone who can cause serious problems for you:

Be careful not to get on the wrong side of her.

28 . keep on the right side of somebody to be careful not to annoy someone, because you want them to help you and not cause problems for you:

We tried to keep on the right side of the housekeeper, so that she would let us bring beer in.

29 . on the right/wrong side of 30/40 etc informal younger or older than 30, 40 etc

30 . on the small/high/heavy etc side spoken a little too small, too high, too heavy etc:

The trousers are a bit on the small side.

31 . this side of Christmas/midnight etc before a particular time – used to say that something will not happen before then:

I doubt we’ll see him this side of Christmas.

32 . the best/biggest etc ... this side of something used humorously to say that something is very good, big etc:

the best Chinese food this side of Peking

33 . on the wrong/right side of the law informal breaking or not breaking the law

34 . be on the side of the angels to be doing what is morally right

35 . let the side down British English to behave badly or do something that embarrasses or disappoints your family, friends etc

36 . criticize/nag/hassle somebody up one side and down the other American English spoken to criticize someone, complain to them in an annoying way etc without worrying about how they feel

37 . MEAT a side of beef/bacon etc one half of an animal’s body, used as food

38 . TV STATION [usually singular] British English spoken a television station SYN channel :

What’s on the other side?

⇨ ↑ double-sided , ↑ one-sided , ⇨ to be on the safe side at ↑ safe 1 (7), ⇨ err on the side of caution at ↑ err (1), ⇨ ↑ flip side , ⇨ split your sides at ↑ split 1 (10), ⇨ the other side of the coin at ↑ coin 1 (3), ⇨ two sides of the same coin at ↑ coin 1 (4)

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ adjectives

▪ one side

A path leads down one side of the garden to a paved area.

▪ the other/opposite side

On the other side of the river are some low hills.

▪ either side (=both sides)

There were tall hedges on either side of the lawn.

▪ the far side (=the other side, quite a long way away)

Nicolo was standing on the far side of the room.

▪ the left/right side

He received a deep cut on the right side of his face.

▪ the left-hand/right-hand side

On the left-hand side list the skills and qualifications required for the job.

▪ the east/west etc side

The shop was on the west side of Culver Street.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 12)

■ adjectives

▪ the business/financial side

Geller handles the business side of things.

▪ the technical side

Gregory works on the technical side, liaising with the sound and lighting people.

▪ the social side

The social side of the group is very important.

▪ the funny/serious side

Luckily, when I explained the situation, he saw the funny side of it.

▪ the positive/negative side

On the positive side, the authors have assembled a wealth of useful material.

▪ the bright side (=the good things about a situation)

It was her nature to look on the bright side.

▪ the dark side (=bad things relating to something)

The book is an examination of the dark side of genius.

▪ sb’s creative/caring/feminine etc side

The art program is meant to bring out children’s creative side.

• • •


▪ edge the part of something that is furthest from its centre or nearest the place where it ends:

He got up quickly, knocking his plate off the edge of the table.


the outer edge of the village

▪ side the part of something that is near its left or right edge:

On the left side of the garden there was an old stone wall.


They parked by the side of the road.

▪ rim the edge of something circular, especially the top of a cup or glass, or the outside edge of a pair of glasses:

a white cup with a gold rim


She was looking at me over the rim of her spectacles.

▪ margin the empty space at the side of a page that has writing on it:

My teacher had marked my essay and made some comments in the margin.


Leave wide margins on both sides of the page.

▪ hem the edge of a piece of cloth that is turned under and stitched down, especially the lower edge of a skirt, trousers etc:

If you want the dress a bit shorter, I can easily turn up the hem.

▪ kerb British English , curb American English the edge of the pavement (=raised path) at the side of a road:

A big black car was parked at the kerb.

▪ outskirts the areas of a city that are furthest away from the centre:

The new station was built on the outskirts of the city.

▪ perimeter the outside edge around an enclosed area of land such as a military camp or a prison:

Security guards patrol the perimeter night and day.

II. side 2 BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]

1 . in or on the side of something:

Hannah slipped out through a side exit.

2 . from the side of something:

Can you get a side view?

III. side 3 BrE AmE verb [intransitive]

to support or argue against a person or group in a quarrel, fight etc

side with/against

Frank sided with David against their mother.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.