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 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 They are designed for use at home by those suffering from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes airways to collapse and halt breathing. Los Angeles Times, "‘Apollo 13 moments’: Amid coronavirus crisis, doctors, inventors convert devices into ventilators," 13 Apr. 2020 Many patients with Covid-19 have inflamed, swollen airways that make intubation especially challenging. Lindsay Beyerstein, The New Republic, "The Staggeringly Complicated Ethics of Ventilating Coronavirus Patients," 10 Apr. 2020 Doctors can use the box while intubating a patient to protect themselves from any particles that could be released from the patient's airway during the procedure. Ryan Vlahovich, azcentral, "How a Phoenix company toy company is working to help doctors fight COVID-19," 30 Mar. 2020 For example, most respiratory viruses tend to infect either the upper or lower airways. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful," 20 Mar. 2020 This means that patients no longer need to be isolated in special negative pressures rooms, though procedures such as an intubation in which a tube is inserted in a patient's airway will still be done in such spaces, Webb said. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "This could 'push over the edge': Indianapolis hospitals gear up for a coronavirus surge," 15 Mar. 2020 Technically called a nasopharyngeal airway, this soft tube can be placed through the nose to help a casualty breathe better. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "The Survival Gear You Want When Things Go Wrong in the Backcountry," 20 Feb. 2020 The glass surface of the table is positioned a few inches above the basin, offering a little airway for the plants (and more oxygen for us!). Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Terrarium Coffee Tables Are Both Functional, and Fabulous — Here's How to Make One," 28 Jan. 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.

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First Known Use of airway

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler

The first known use of airway was in 1800

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Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Airway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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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

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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

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