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 Also travel insurance covers missed flights like a beltway traffic accident, medical insurance, baggage loss, etc. The Washington Post, "Talk about Travel," 8 June 2020 George Floyd will be entombed in Pearland on June 9th at the Houston Memorial Gardens on Cullen, south of beltway 8. CBS News, "Live updates: George Floyd's funeral service held in Houston," 9 June 2020 Republican independence is hard to find inside the beltway. David French, Time, "Republican Governors' Response to Coronavirus May Save the GOP from Trump," 30 Apr. 2020 Bearcats coach Luke Fickell and his staff continue to barricade the I-275 beltway nearly as well as the infamous orange barrels. Scott Springer,, "Cincinnati football recruiting: La Salle defensive back Iesa Jarmon commits to UC Bearcats," 8 Apr. 2020 Even on the Maryland beltway (singling out NY, NJ, CT). The Washington Post, "Talk about Travel," 6 Apr. 2020 Far away from the beltway, several dozen supporters showed up in downtown Salt Lake City in freezing temperatures to laud their senator for standing up to the president. Fox News, "Mitt Romney praised, criticized in Utah after guilty vote," 6 Feb. 2020 Widening the beltway in Prince George’s County would come later. Jeff Barker,, "U.S. House committee declines amendments by Rep. Anthony Brown to block Gov. Hogan's toll lanes project," 20 June 2019 The Greenway could eventually become part of an even larger bike beltway in Northern Illinois, connecting north to Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood and west to the Mississippi River. Mary Wisniewski,, "Getting around without a car is tough on the Far South and Southeast sides; residents look for answers," 17 June 2019

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

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beltway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce beltway (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on beltway

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beltway

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beltway

Spanish Central: Translation of beltway

Nglish: Translation of beltway for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beltway for Arabic Speakers

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