Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

side - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun side pronunciation in British English /saɪd/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [countable] a particular area of something such as a building, street, or town
    side of: The railway ran along the north side of the valley.
    The bride’s guests should sit on the left side of the church.
    the far side: I parked on the far side of the yard.
    right-hand/left-hand side: Americans drive on the right-hand side of the road.
    north/south side: They live on the north side of town.
    1. a.
      one of the areas that are separated from each other by something such as a border or a river
      villages on the Thai side of the border
      The boat had drifted to the other side of the river.
      The policy has been condemned by politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.
      Groceries are cheaper on the American side so Canadians often shop there.
  2. 2
    [countable] an outside surface of an object or shape that is not its front, back, bottom, or top
    The ship was found lying on its side.
    side of: The entrance is on the side of the building.
    1. a.
      an inside surface of a container or room that is not the top or bottom
      side of: Lift the cake gently away from the sides of the dish.
      There were tables all along the sides of the hall.
    2. b.
      either of the flat surfaces of something thin such as a piece of paper or a coin
      Use the lined side of the paper.
      I turned the coin over and looked at the other side.
    3. e.
      any of the edges of a flat shape
      A square has four sides.
    4. f.
      the edge of a boat
      The sailors just throw their rubbish over the side.
    5. g.
      the left or right part of something
      side of: The left side of your jacket’s all dirty.
      One side of their van was crushed.
      right-hand/left-hand side: Put a margin down the right-hand side of the page.
    6. h.
      the left or right area of your body from your head to your feet
      Roll onto your side.
      by someone’s side: I stood nervously by his side as they approached.
      to someone’s side: Her little boy ran to her side and took her hand.
    7. i.
      the general area of your body from your shoulder down to your waist
      by someone’s sides: His arms hung limply by his sides.
      right/left side: I had a sharp pain in my right side.
  3. 3
    [countable] one aspect of a situation, problem, or subject
    Please look at all sides of the question before you decide.
    side of: I still haven’t heard her side of the story.
    Mark hasn’t kept his side of the bargain.
    1. a.
      a part of a persons personality
      That is a side of Amy that you rarely see.
      The president displayed his lighter side before the press conference began.
      She told me I need to get in touch with my feminine side.
    2. b.
      the funny, serious etc side of something is the aspect of it that has that quality
      His jokes are often about the darker side of life.
      Fortunately, my boss saw the funny side of the situation.
      on the plus/minus side (=considering the positive/negative aspects): It’s not a perfect setup but, on the plus side, I can work at home.
  4. 4
    [countable] one of two or more groups of people opposing each other
    The agreement has been signed by both sides.
    Franco didn’t want to back the wrong side in a European war.
    1. a.
      a sports team
      Our side lost.
      He’s been chosen for the England youth side.
      losing/winning side: The winning side will get a place in the finals.
  5. 5
    [countable] if you are on someones side, you support them in an argument or a fight
    on someone’s side: Don’t get annoyed with me – I’m on your side!
    take someone’s side (=to support one person rather than another one): Mary always takes your side.
    take sides (=to show support for one person and not others): I’m not taking sides in this argument.
  6. 6
    [countable] a part of your family, either your fathers set of relatives or your mothers
    Which side of the family is his uncle from?
    on someone’s mother’s/father’s side: Rose is my cousin on my mother’s side.
  7. 7
    [countable] [usually singular] British informal a television channel
    Which side is the film on?
    Shall we turn over and see what’s on the other side?
  8. 8
    [countable] American mainly spoken a side dish
    side of: I’d like a side of French fries with that.
  9. 9
    [uncountable] British informal a proud attitude



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


a stupid person

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog