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Back seat

a seat at the rear.
take a backseat, to occupy a secondary or inferior position:
Her writing has taken a backseat because of other demands on her time.
Contemporary Examples

Neither candidate has really addressed this issue; it takes a back seat to the economy and the war.
Petitions Flood Change.org in Advance of Presidential Debate Jamie Reno October 2, 2012

It was not until Shriver, who had previously taken a back seat in the campaign, jumped front and center that the day was saved.
Is Arnold Schwarzenegger Still Lying? A. L. Bardach September 29, 2012

Smith had originally claimed that her car was stolen with the kids in the back seat.
The Copycat Killer Mom Harriet McLeod August 16, 2010

This time the American was in the back seat of a pickup truck, sandwiched between two armed fighters.
U.S. Prisoner Bowe Bergdahl’s Failed Attempt to Escape From Taliban Sami Yousafzai, Ron Moreau December 6, 2011

Money and creature comforts take a back seat to expressing your soul in a meaningful way.
Your Week: What the Stars Hold Starsky + Cox September 3, 2011

Historical Examples

The young child can take his afternoon nap stretched out on the back seat and covered with a light robe or coat.
If Your Baby Must Travel in Wartime United States Department of Labor, Children’s Bureau

Lady Barbara stretched in the back seat, next to Her Majesty.
That Sweet Little Old Lady Gordon Randall Garrett (AKA Mark Phillips)

But on the back seat in the coach is the inevitable woman, young and sickly, with the baby in her arms.
Baddeck and That Sort of Thing Charles Dudley Warner

Dr. Hume sat beside her and Elinor and Ben were in the back seat.
The Motor Maids at Sunrise Camp Katherine Stokes

Two hours later on the way home she nestled near Harry in the back seat.
Flappers and Philosophers F. Scott Fitzgerald

a seat at the back, esp of a vehicle
(informal) a subordinate or inconspicuous position (esp in the phrase take a back seat)

also back-seat, 1832, originally of coaches, from back (adj.) + seat (n.). Used figuratively for “less or least prominent position” by 1868. Back-seat driver first attested 1926.

Related Terms

take a back seat


Read Also:

  • Backseat driver

    an automobile passenger who offers the driver unsolicited advice, warnings, criticism, etc., especially from the backseat. any person who, by means of criticism, unsolicited advice, or the like, interferes in affairs that are not his or her concern or responsibility. noun phrase A person who gives unwanted and officious advice; kibitzer (1920s+) A passenger who […]

  • Backseat

    a seat at the rear. take a backseat, to occupy a secondary or inferior position: Her writing has taken a backseat because of other demands on her time. Contemporary Examples But bilateral relations will take a backseat as legal and political issues pile up for Gilani. Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani Convicted of Contempt Fasih Ahmed, […]

  • Backset

    New England, Southern, and South Midland U.S. a setback; relapse; reverse. an eddy or countercurrent. (on a lock on a door or the like) the horizontal distance between the face through which the bolt passes and the center line of the knob stem or keyhole. Historical Examples The rascals had had one backset, but this […]

  • Back shaft

    a spindle carrying back gears.

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