• WordNet 3.6
    • v sidetrack wander from a direct or straight course
    • n sidetrack a short stretch of railroad track used to store rolling stock or enable trains on the same line to pass
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sidetrack Hence, fig., to divert or reduce to a position or condition that is relatively secondary or subordinate in activity, importance, effectiveness, or the like; to switch off; to turn aside, as from a purpose. "Such a project was, in fact, sidetracked in favor of the census of school children."
    • Sidetrack (Railroads) To transfer to a siding from a main line of track.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sidetrack A short line of rails branching off by a switch from the main line of a railroad, and either returning to it or not at the further end, for use in turning out, shifting rolling-stock, etc.; a siding.
    • sidetrack To put upon a side-track; shift from the main line of a railroad to a subsidiary one; shunt.
    • sidetrack Figuratively, to divert to one side; turn aside from the proper or the practicable course.
    • sidetrack To pass to a side-track; come to rest on a siding.
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In literature:

That's why I don't want you to get sidetracked in any way.
"Cubs of the Wolf" by Raymond F. Jones
It is a short ride to where the cars are sidetracked, waiting.
"The Last Woman" by Ross Beeckman
As the train was standing on the sidetrack at Watertown Junction it created considerable curiosity.
"Peck's Sunshine Being a Collection of Articles Written for Peck's Sun, Milwaukee, Wis. - 1882" by George W. Peck
The engine was sidetracked.
"Ralph on the Engine" by Allen Chapman
The sidetracks on the right facilitate the rapid distribution of produce sold at the market.
"A Terminal Market System" by Mrs. Elmer Black
A chartered car carrying fifty men and women was sidetracked at Brookhaven for three days.
"Negro Migration during the War" by Emmett J. Scott
Mix had come with support which couldn't be sidetracked.
"Rope" by Holworthy Hall
Once the boom struck, the insurance could be temporarily sidetracked.
"The Preacher of Cedar Mountain" by Ernest Thompson Seton
You've been able to sidetrack a lot of trouble.
"The Lieutenant-Governor" by Guy Wetmore Carryl
We can keep Garret from sidetracking Moon Flight when a raid comes over.
"A Yankee Flier with the R.A.F." by Rutherford G. Montgomery

In news:

But injuries have sidetracked that relief corps over the past week.
'Jet Lag' review: Elaborately staged tales of travel and turmoil are sidetracked by weak scripts.
' Jet Lag ' review: Elaborately staged tales of travel and turmoil are sidetracked by weak scripts.
She fled south, was sidetracked to northern Africa, arriving finally in Casablanca.
'Growing pains' won't sidetrack No Child Left Behind.
It is easy for leaders to become sidetracked when juggling dozens of competing priorities.
While getting sidetracked on Etsy, I found this charming local company.
Benghazi probe must not get sidetracked.
The murder trial for Alberecht Muth has been sidetracked for months by debate over his mental stability and ability to stand trial.
Streetcars sidetracked again Oregonian 12-8-12 Metro.
Council sidetracked over job requirements.
Read the Sidetracks print edition.
FORT MYERS, Fla.— The deadly shooting spree in Colorado consumed the presidential campaign Friday, sidetracking a bitter political contest with a tragedy that at least temporarily brought the candidates together in common purpose.
I was searching out the new sounds and got sidetracked by a copy of Embrace, the debut project of San Francisco's Sleepy Sun.
I got a little "sidetracked".

In science:

This problem will be sidetracked by working in weighted H¨older spaces.
Manifold structures for sets of solutions of the general relativistic constraint equations
Now, we must sidetrack to discuss what some tropical triangles in TP3 are like.
Six combinatorial clases of maximal convex tropical polyhedra
Unfortunately, no calculable string theory was found to serve that purpose, so string theory got sidetracked into describing fundamental particles, like quarks and gluons.
Untwisting the twistor superstring
We don’t mean to get sidetracked with this rehashed discussion of homology.
A Simple Introduction to Particle Physics Part II
But we will not sidetrack the reader with these technicalities that may be found in [B-G], §2.
Moment inequalities for trigonometric polynomials with spectrum in curved hypersurfaces