noun, often attributive
belt·​way | \ˈbelt-ˌwā \

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

The expressway loop around Orlando – the region’s beltway of nearly 112 miles – will have been completed all but for about a dozen miles in Lake and Seminole counties. Kevin Spear,, "Wekiva Parkway segment set to open into Lake County," 16 Mar. 2018 The state transportation department owns Florida’s Turnpike, parts of the beltway around Orlando and pieces of the State Road 528 Beachline Expressway. Kevin Spear,, "SunPass will freeze customers' toll-transponder accounts for system revamp," 31 May 2018 There are no major improvements in transit, but toll lanes are built on outer beltways, and another bridge is built to the Eastern Shore. Katherine Shaver, Washington Post, "Here’s how researchers think the Washington-Baltimore region could look in 20 years," 18 Apr. 2018 Located to the immediate northeast of the I-465 beltway that circles Indianapolis, Hamilton County brings a lot to the table for current and prospective residents. Shelley Specchio, Indianapolis Star, "Discovering Indianapolis’ vibrant neighborhoods: Hamilton County," 29 June 2018 But in the beltway, political Twitter is an omnipresent fact of your physical life. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The Male Echo Chamber of Political Twitter," 26 June 2018 The ramps will be part of a planned beltway around O’Hare, connecting Illinois Route 390 going east toward the airport with a new north-south Tollway to be called Interstate -490 which would go along the airport’s western border. Mary Wisniewski,, "Tollway board approves deal with railroad to allow O'Hare western access," 13 June 2018 Peak officials cited the location near the beltway and not far from downtown Baltimore as adding to the complex’s appeal. Meredith Cohn,, "Peak Management buys apartment complex in Pikesville," 9 Apr. 2018 This is a guy who spent two decades making coherent arguments for things like the tax cuts, for policies like entitlement reform, Maria, things that are not popular inside the beltway. Fox News, "Rep. Goodlatte calls on DOJ to make Comey memos available," 15 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for beltway

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beltway

The first known use of beltway was in 1950

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English Language Learners Definition of beltway

: a highway that goes around a city

the Beltway : the political and social world of Washington, D.C.

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Comments on beltway

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