American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Play second fiddle


Secondary or lesser position. Fiddle is a violin so someone else is in first or the more important position. Used whenever someone has lost previous prominence. (Compare to Take a backseat to or Three’s a crowd.)

 “I play second fiddle to her real boyfriend when he comes home from college.”

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