A sidelong glance or facial expression is directed toward one side, and it's also usually skeptical or suspicious. If your brother promises to clean the whole house, you might react with a sidelong look at him.

Sidelong can be used as an adjective or an adverb, so you can give your friend a sidelong glance when she starts reading the wrong paragraph aloud in English class, and you can also look sidelong at the kid beside you who's asleep and snoring at his desk. The adverb is older, and it comes from the Middle English sidlyng.

Definitions of sidelong
  1. adjective
    inclining or directed to one side
    “"moved downward in a sidelong way" - Bram Stoker”
    at an angle to the horizontal or vertical position
  2. adjective
    (used especially of glances) directed to one side with or as if with doubt or suspicion or envy
    sidelong glances”
    synonyms: askance, askant, asquint, squint, squint-eyed, squinty
    not direct in spatial dimension; not leading by a straight line or course to a destination
  3. adjective
    situated at or extending to the side
    “"shot out sidelong boughs"- Tennyson”
    synonyms: lateral
    located on a side
  4. adverb
    on the side
    “the plow lay sidelong on the ground”
  5. adverb
    to, toward or at one side
    “darting eyes looking sidelong out of a wizened face”
    synonyms: obliquely, sideways
  6. adverb
    with the side toward someone or something
    “"seated sidelong to the window"- Nathaniel Hawthorne”
Word Family
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