- a seat at the rear.
- take a backseat, to occupy a secondary or inferior position: Her writing has taken a backseat because of other demands on her time.
Occupy an inferior position; allow another to be in control. For example, Linda was content to take a back seat and let Nancy run the meeting. This idiom uses back seat in contrast to the driver’s seat, that is, the one in control. [Mid-1800s]