Etymology
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sideshow (n.)

also side-show, 1855, "minor exhibition alongside or near a principal one," apparently a coinage of P.T. Barnum's, from side (adj.) + show (n.). Hence, any diversion or distracting event.

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Definitions of sideshow

sideshow (n.)
a subordinate incident of little importance relative to the main event;
instruction is not an educational sideshow
sideshow (n.)
a minor show that is part of a larger one (as at the circus);
From wordnet.princeton.edu