Playing Second Fiddle Meaning & Sentence Examples

Playing Second Fiddle Definition, Sentence Examples

PLAYING SECOND FIDDLE MEANING – Find out what playing second fiddle really means. Example sentences of this idiomatic expression can also be found here.

This idiom dates back to the earliest orchestral eras. In the orchestra, the first violinist who plays the melody is known as the lead violinist or prominent violinist.

The second violinist then assumes the leadership of the second violinists, who support the lead violinist. This second group eventually earned the nickname “second fiddles,” which is where the idiom got its start.


Playing Second Fiddle Meaning:

  • to serve as a supporting or minor character in relation to someone else
  • to be seen as less significant or to be in a weaker position than someone else
  • to be someone’s inferior or give way when it comes to that person

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Here are examples of sentences that use playing second fiddle:

  1. Coleen is always in her brother’s shadow, playing second fiddle to him every time.
  2. I will never play second fiddle to my brother.
  3. Jack was determined to be the star of the program and he was not going to play second fiddle to anyone.
  4. Anna’s family has had to play second fiddle to her political career.

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