play second fiddle


Also found in: Idioms.

play second fiddle

To be in a supporting or subservient role to someone else; from an orchestra in which the first violinist holds the most important position.
References in classic literature ?
Nicholson was ambitious for his family (in which, and the Disruption Principles, he entirely lived), and he hated to see a son of his play second fiddle to an idler.
Sometimes there is a perception of me as a fun-loving, jovial bloke who takes a guitar everywhere and is happy to play second fiddle.
WOMEN may want to be housewives but British men are themselves happy to play second fiddle to their partners as more women take the career spotlight.
Democracy should not play second fiddle to focus groups.
ALTHOUGH he had to play second fiddle in the beginners' chase at Kempton yesterday, COPSALE LAD can be counted a shade unlucky not to have made more of a race of it with Liverpool Echo.
A NUNEATON fisherman had to play second fiddle to his wife when she reeled in a 22lb Coy Carp while holidaying in Devon.
VENUS WILLIAMS denies that her best days are over and that she will play second fiddle to sister Serena's title defence this year.
Tony McCOY, forced to play second fiddle aboard Upgrade in the feature event, still found himself in the winner's circle when booting home a double courtesy of victories for Swansea Bay and Neutron.
ALTHOUGH Forest had to play second fiddle for long periods, they scored from two of their three goal attempts to register their first home win over Rovers in more than 20 years.
Exhibitions feature a bunch of guys you've never heard of from Middle Tennessee State or somewhere else where schools' football teams play second fiddle to their cotton-judging teams.
Kezman has been forced to play second fiddle to Didier Drogba and Eidur Gudjohnsen for much of the campaign, a far cry from last season when he moved from PSV Eindhoven having scored 105 goals in 122 appearances in the Dutch league.
SALTIRES hero Rahul Dravid was forced to play second fiddle as a star- studded Clydesdale Select ran out easy winners against the SCU President's XI yesterday.