sideline (n.) "lines marking the limits of playing area" (on a football field, etc.), 1862, from SIDE (Cf. side) (adj.) + LINE (Cf. line) (q.v.). The fig. sense of "position removed from active participation" is attested from 1934 (because players who are not in the game stand along the sidelines). The verb meaning "put out of play" is from 1945.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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