way

noun
\ ˈwā How to pronounce way (audio) \

Definition of way

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a thoroughfare for travel or transportation from place to place
b : an opening for passage this door is the only way out of the room
2 : the course traveled from one place to another : route asked the way to the museum
3a : a course (such as a series of actions or sequence of events) leading in a direction or toward an objective led the way to eventual open heart operationsCurrent Biography
b(1) : a course of action took the easy way out
(2) : opportunity, capability, or fact of doing as one pleases always manages to get her own way
c : a possible decision, action, or outcome : possibility they were rude—no two ways about it
4a : manner or method of doing or happening admired her way of thinking also : method of accomplishing : means that's the way to do it
b : feature, respect in no way resembles her mother
c : a usually specified degree of participation in an activity or enterprise active in real estate in a small way
5a : characteristic, regular, or habitual manner or mode of being, behaving, or happening knows nothing of the ways of women
b : ability to get along well or perform well she has a way with kids a way with words
6 : the length of a course : distance has come a long way in her studies still have a way to go
7 : movement or progress along a course worked her way up the corporate ladder
8a : direction is coming this way
b : participant usually used in combination three-way discussion
9 : state of affairs : condition, state that's the way things are
10a ways plural in form but sometimes singular in construction : an inclined structure upon which a ship is built or supported in launching
b ways plural : the guiding surfaces on the bed of a machine along which a table or carriage moves
11 : category, kind usually used in the phrase in the way of doesn't require much in the way of expensive equipmentForbes
12 : motion or speed of a ship or boat through the water
all the way
: to the full or entire extent : as far as possible ran all the way home seated all the way in the back
by the way
: by way of interjection or digression : incidentally
by way of
1 : for the purpose of
2 : by the route through : via
in a way
1 : within limits : with reservations
2 : from one point of view
in one's way or less commonly in the way
1 : in a position to be encountered by one : in or along one's course an opportunity had been put in my way— Ellen Glasgow
2 : in a position to hinder or obstruct
on the way or on one's way
: moving along in one's course : in progress
out of the way
1 : wrong, improper didn't know I'd said anything out of the way
2a : in or to a secluded place
b : unusual, remarkable there's nothing out of the way about the plan
3 : done, completed got his homework out of the way
the way
1 : in view of the manner in which you'd think she was rich, the way she spends money
2 : like, as we have cats the way other people have mice— James Thurber

way

adjective

Definition of way (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, connected with, or constituting an intermediate point on a route

way

adverb

Definition of way (Entry 3 of 3)

1 informal

a : by a long distance : to a considerable degree or extent : far is way ahead of the class sat way in the back row
b : by far : much ate way too much that's way too expensive
c : very sense 1 way cool way excited
2 : all the way pull the switch way back
from way back
: of long standing friends from way back

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Choose the Right Synonym for way

Noun

method, mode, manner, way, fashion, system mean the means taken or procedure followed in achieving an end. method implies an orderly logical arrangement usually in steps. effective teaching methods mode implies an order or course followed by custom, tradition, or personal preference. the preferred mode of transportation manner is close to mode but may imply a procedure or method that is individual or distinctive. an odd manner of conducting way is very general and may be used for any of the preceding words. has her own way of doing things fashion may suggest a peculiar or characteristic way of doing something. rushing about in his typical fashion system suggests a fully developed or carefully formulated method often emphasizing rational orderliness. a filing system

Examples of way in a Sentence

Noun

We'll try doing it your way first. Let me explain it this way. You can pay for your purchase in one of two ways: by cash or by credit card. Which door is the way in? The back way was blocked. This door is the only way out of the room.

Adverb

He is way ahead of the other runners. They live way out in the country. We sat way back in the last row. I missed a week of class and fell way behind. Your parents are way cool.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No matter the cause, always seek emergency care if your ability to breathe is compromised in an alarming way. 2. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "When to Go to Urgent Care Vs. the ER," 16 Feb. 2019 That has crushed issuance of higher-yielding savings products, which used to give savers a way to augment low deposit returns. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "How to Depress Chinese Consumers Without Really Trying," 15 Feb. 2019 And aside from a few major storms that got in the way, the rover never stopped returning science data. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Says Goodnight to Opportunity, Its Most Enduring Mars Rover," 13 Feb. 2019 The rug, based on a Roman design from the 1930s, reminded me of water, in an abstract way. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "A Dream House on the Malibu Coast with Breathtaking Views," 12 Feb. 2019 On a wild day of weather even by Pebble Beach standards, sunshine gave way to a hail storm that covered the greens in a sheet of white in a matter of minutes. Doug Ferguson, The Seattle Times, "Mickelson beats everyone but the dark at Pebble," 11 Feb. 2019 That’s in part because these are the places most likely to have actual holes cut into the building envelope to make way for pipes and wires. Barbara Eldredge, Curbed, "How to save on utility bills," 25 Jan. 2019 Razer’s quick to add that game developers can tie HyperSense into their games in a more bespoke way. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Razer HyperSense's vision for haptic-filled PC gaming shakes up the future of peripherals," 10 Jan. 2019 Halal meat, for example, must come from an animal slaughtered in specific ways. Charles Passy, WSJ, "‘I Wanted a Steak Burrito’: Halal Restaurants Put Mexican on Menu to Sate Expanding Palates," 1 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Apparently, Willie and Christina first crossed paths way back on the first day of sixth grade at George Washington Middle School in Ridgewood, New Jersey, according to The New York Times. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Star Willie Geist and His Wife Have, Hands Down, the Craziest Love Story in the World," 9 May 2019 Your Sundays just got way more entertaining. 8 P.M. ET on TLC The Red Line: This new drama series explores three families in Chicago coping with the aftermath of a white cop shooting an unarmed Black doctor. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "14 TV Shows and Movies That Will Keep You Sane Until Friday," 28 Apr. 2019 Prince Harry did plenty of not great stuff in his wild youth that could make a parent feel disappointed, but apparently his dad, Prince Charles, was bummed about him way before that. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Princess Diana Once Said Prince Charles Was Very Disappointed When Prince Harry Was Born," 27 Apr. 2019 The Waco, Texas home was first purchased for $262,200 by the Reed family on the HGTV show, way under their original budget of $450,000—leaving Chip and Jo with quite the generous reno budget. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "The "Asian Ranch" House from 'Fixer Upper' is Now On The Market For $740,000," 12 Apr. 2019 In Florida, voter turnout at historically black colleges and universities was way up compared to 2014: At Florida A&M, voter turnout rates nearly doubled, with 60% showing up to vote yesterday, compared to 33% in 2014. Rebecca Dancer, Teen Vogue, "Midterm Elections Voter Participation Seriously Increased at These Colleges Across the Country," 7 Nov. 2018 My hair is also way healthier thanks to the lack of styling products, tools, and toiling. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "The 8 Best Lessons I Learned Living the Lagom Life," 31 Oct. 2018 Even though the stated likelihood of such things happening is astronomically low. Because for anyone with a genuine interest in being alive, any likelihood of death is already way too high. Lorena Avilés Trujillo, Glamour, "I Have a Brain Aneurysm—I Call Her Annie," 1 Apr. 2019 European regulation is way more advanced Spectators of Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony got to see moments of weirdness such as Senator Orrin Hatch not understanding that Facebook makes its money from advertising. David Meyer, Fortune, "3 Reasons Why Mark Zuckerberg's EU Grilling Today Will Be Tougher Than His Congressional Interrogation," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'way.' 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 way

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1836, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for way

Noun

Middle English, from Old English weg; akin to Old High German weg way, Old English wegan to move, Latin vehere to carry, via way

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Statistics for way

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Time Traveler for way

The first known use of way was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for way

way

noun

English Language Learners Definition of way

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: how someone or something does something : how someone or something behaves, appears, feels, etc.
: a method or system that can be used to do something
: a person's usual habits, actions, qualities, etc.

way

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of way (Entry 2 of 2)

informal
: to a great distance or extent : very far
: by a great amount

way

noun
\ ˈwā How to pronounce way (audio) \

Kids Definition of way

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the manner in which something is done or happens … Nick could feel a homework assignment coming the way a farmer can feel a rainstorm.— Andrew Clements, Frindle
2 : the course traveled from one place to another : route Do you know the way to my house?
3 : a noticeable point In some ways I wish I lived closer to school.
4 : state entry 1 sense 1 That's the way things are.
5 : distance in time or space You're a long way from home. The wedding is still a long way off.
6 : a special or personal manner of behaving Being quiet is just my way.
7 : a talent for handling something He has a way with words.
8 : room to advance or pass Make way—coming through!
9 : direction sense 1 I paid full fare each way.
10 : a track for travel : path, street
11 : a course of action He chose the easy way.
12 : personal choice as to situation or behavior : wish She insists on getting her way.
13 : progress along a course I'm working my way through college.
14 : a particular place The weather has been nice out our way.
15 : category, kind I had little in the way of help.
by the way
: apart from that By the way, did you hear what happened?
by way of
1 : for the purpose of I mentioned it by way of example.
2 : by the route through We drove by way of back roads.
in someone's way also in the way
: in a position to hinder or obstruct
out of the way
1 : in or to a place away from public view
2 : done fully He got his homework out of the way.

way

adverb

Kids Definition of way (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : far entry 1 sense 1 The sleeves hung way down.
2 : far entry 1 sense 2 He eats way too much candy.

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More from Merriam-Webster on way

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with way

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for way

Spanish Central: Translation of way

Nglish: Translation of way for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of way for Arabic Speakers

Comments on way

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