Play second fiddle

Definition

To play second fiddle is an idiom which means to settle for a subordinate role or position in comparison to someone else.

Examples

He was always content to play second fiddle to his brother’s achievements.

The CEO of the company was used to playing second fiddle to her deputy.

Origin

This phrase comes from the musical term ‘second fiddle’ which designates the role of the second violinist in an orchestra.

FAQs

What does ‘play second fiddle’ mean?

This phrase means to settle for a subordinate role or position in comparison to someone else.

Where does this phrase come from?

This phrase comes from the musical term ‘second fiddle’ which designates the role of the second violinist in an orchestra.