use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

To look up an entry in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, use the search window above. For best results, after typing in the word, click on the “Search” button instead of using the “enter” key.

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you type them in the search bar. For best results with compound words, place a quotation mark before the compound word in the search window.

guide to the dictionary

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. Annual surveys have gauged the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY BLOG

The articles in our blog examine new words, revised definitions, interesting images from the fifth edition, discussions of usage, and more.

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

side (sīd)
Share:
n.
1. Mathematics
a. A line bounding a plane figure.
b. A surface bounding a solid figure.
2.
a. A surface of an object, especially a surface joining a top and bottom: the four sides of a box.
b. A surface of an object that lies on the left or right of that object as viewed from the front or back: From the shore, I watched my friends dive off the side of the boat.
c. Either of the two surfaces of a thin, flat object: the front side of a piece of paper.
3.
a. The part within an object or area to the left or right of the observer or of its vertical axis.
b. The left or right half of the trunk of a human or animal body: always sleeps on his side; a side of beef.
4.
a. The space immediately next to someone: stood at her father's side.
b. The space immediately next to something. Often used in combination: courtside; dockside.
5. One of two or more contrasted parts or places within an area, identified by its location with respect to a center: the north side of the park.
6. An area separated from another area by an intervening feature, such as a line or barrier: on this side of the Atlantic; the district on the other side of the railroad tracks.
7.
a. One of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions.
b. One of the positions maintained in a dispute or debate.
8. A distinct aspect: the shy side of his personality.
9. Line of descent: my aunt on my mother's side.
10. sides
a. An incomplete script that shows the lines and cues of a single performer only.
b. An incomplete script that shows only what is to be filmed on a specific day or shoot.
11. Chiefly British In billiards, the spin given to a propelled ball by striking it off center.
adj.
1. Located on a side: a side door.
2. From or to one side; oblique: a side view.
3. Minor; incidental: a side interest.
4. In addition to the main part; supplementary: a side benefit.
v. sid·ed, sid·ing, sides
v.tr.
1. To provide sides or siding for: side a frame house with aluminum.
2. To be positioned next to: a couch that is sided by low tables.
v.intr.
To align oneself in a disagreement: sided with the conservatives in Congress; siding against the bill.
Phrasal Verb:
side out
Sports In volleyball, to gain the right to serve by winning a volley served by the opposing team.
Idioms:
on the side
1. In addition to the main portion: coleslaw on the side.
2. In addition to the main occupation or activity: did some consulting work on the side.
side by side
Next to each other; close together.
this side of Informal
Verging on; short of: shady deals that were just this side of criminal.

[Middle English, from Old English sīde.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.