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I know what a side dish is, but I can't figure out its figurative meaning. Can you please give a definition to it.

The daily Beast started as an aggregator with some original reporting as a side dish.

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A side dish accompanies the main part of a meal, making it complete. But the primary focus is not on the side dish.

The figurative meaning is the same - something that is a part of the whole package, but of lesser importance.

Another frequently used metaphor would be a supporting actor.

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A side dish can also be a person you're seeing intimately outside of your primary monogamous romantic relationship.

I'm having a hard time finding this definition anywhere other than Urban Dictionary at the moment.

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    While technically true, the reason you are having trouble finding this definition outside of Urban Dictionary is that this is really informal and somewhat 'new' slang. – Austin Hemmelgarn Dec 26 '19 at 19:48
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    @AustinHemmelgarn no argument on it being really informal, but it's not new. When I saw the title in HNQ, I actually thought the question was going to be about this usage; was surprised to see it wasn't. – briantist Dec 26 '19 at 19:54
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    And not a good fit in the given context, unless you want to insinuate that the website has a second business model. – Stephie Dec 26 '19 at 20:31
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    @Stephie haha definitely true, just added for completeness (someone finding that context may do a search and end up on this question as well) – briantist Dec 26 '19 at 20:57
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    I've seen this (in very informal slang) referred to as a "side piece"/"side chick", never a "side dish". – V2Blast Dec 27 '19 at 1:09

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