noun, often attributive
belt·​way | \ ˈbelt-ˌwā How to pronounce beltway (audio) \

Definition of beltway

1 : a highway skirting an urban area
2 capitalized : the political and social world of Washington, D.C., viewed especially as insular and exclusive understanding better than Beltway insiders what really interests voters— L. I. Barrett

Examples of beltway in a Sentence

Her influence extends beyond the Beltway.
Recent Examples on the Web My guess is that many people inside the DC beltway have read this report. Bob Haber, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 But beyond the beltway, there is also deep frustration and anger in the streets of America as young men and women of color keep getting injured and killed by police. Maeve Reston, CNN, 25 Apr. 2021 Opinions outside the beltway further complicate the situation. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2021 While the tech operator-to-investor path may be the VC template of the 2010s, perhaps the 2020s will uncover unconventional roads to and from the industry—including the DC beltway. Deena Shakir, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021 Four of the top six are located in Virginia and Maryland, inside the Washington, D.C. beltway. Adam Andrzejewski, Forbes, 3 Mar. 2021 In Roxbury, Boston had planned to build an inner beltway highway. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 Mar. 2021 To do it again at Morrow, just South of the I-285 beltway, Weaks needed a game-changer who would buy in quickly. oregonlive, 29 Dec. 2020 Hawkins maintained the extension east wasn’t for Tavistock and was long-planned in the county as a beltway to help connect new growth to the airport and Medical City. Ryan Gillespie,, 11 Sep. 2020

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

1950, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for beltway

Time Traveler

The first known use of beltway was in 1950

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Statistics for beltway

Last Updated

30 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beltway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of beltway

US : a highway that goes around a city
: the political and social world of Washington, D.C.


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