air·​way | \ ˈer-ˌwā How to pronounce airway (audio) \

Definition of airway

1 : a passage for a current of air (as in a mine or to the lungs)
2 : a designated route along which airplanes fly from airport to airport especially : such a route equipped with navigational aids
4 : a channel of a designated radio frequency for broadcasting or other radio communication

Examples of airway in a Sentence

a patient with a partially blocked airway
Recent Examples on the Web Paramedics arrived and took the child to a nearby hospital where it was determined the boy had swallowed a coin, which had lodged in his throat and blocked his airway. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "A sheriff's deputy saved a baby from choking during a Black Lives Matter protest," 18 June 2020 The boy had swallowed a coin, which got stuck in his throat and blocked his airway, officials said, adding that Kinsey’s actions turned the coin sideways and allowed the child to breathe again. Fox News, "California sheriff's deputy saves 11-month-old boy choking on coin during protest, video shows," 18 June 2020 The only difference is that the deaths stemming from their version of the illness are enacted in a slower, quieter, and less public fashion than a knee to the airway. David Malebranche, STAT, "Racism: The contagion in health care we need to eradicate," 4 June 2020 The chemicals can weaken and damage tissue in the airways - including the fine cilia hairs or larger hairs that help protect the airway from foreign intruders, such as a virus. Anchorage Daily News, "White House says police didn’t use tear gas and rubber bullets, a semantics argument," 3 June 2020 Glatter said tear gas can cause an asthma attack or dangerous swelling in the upper airway that could lead to asphyxiation and even death. USA Today, "Going to protest George Floyd's death? Here's how to protect yourself against tear gas, pepper spray," 2 June 2020 According to ResMed, the AirSense CPAP machine Hudson has modded is designed only to provide positive airway pressure and would take serious rework to function as a ventilator. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "We Can Avoid a Ventilator Shortage by Jailbreaking CPAP Machines," 19 Apr. 2020 ResMed says the device can’t work as a bilevel positive airway pressure device, which is a more advanced machine that pushes air into a mask and then pulls it back out. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Medical device “jailbreak” could help solve the dangerous shortage of ventilators," 14 Apr. 2020 So his group is using a pediatric bronchoscope, normally used to examine childrens’ airways, to deposit the virus deep in the monkeys’ lungs. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "How monkeys, ferrets, and horses are helping scientists fight Covid-19," 13 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'airway.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of airway

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about airway

Time Traveler for airway

Time Traveler

The first known use of airway was in 1800

See more words from the same year

Statistics for airway

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Airway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for airway


How to pronounce airway (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of airway

medical : the area in the throat through which air passes to and from the lungs
: a route along which airplanes regularly fly
used in the names of some airlines


air·​way | \ ˈer-ˌwā How to pronounce airway (audio) \

Kids Definition of airway

1 : the passage through which air moves from the nose or mouth to the lungs in breathing
2 : a route along which airplanes regularly fly


air·​way | \ -ˌwā How to pronounce airway (audio) \

Medical Definition of airway

: a passageway for air into or out of the lungs specifically : a device passed into the trachea by way of the mouth or nose or through an incision to maintain a clear respiratory passageway (as during anesthesia, convulsions, or in obstructive laryngitis) — see upper airway

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on airway

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for airway

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with airway

Britannica English: Translation of airway for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about airway

Comments on airway

What made you want to look up airway? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!