by·​pass | \ ˈbī-ˌpas How to pronounce bypass (audio) \

Definition of bypass

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a passage to one side especially : a deflected route usually around a town
2a : a channel carrying a fluid around a part and back to the main stream
(2) : shunt sense 1c also : a surgical procedure for the establishment of a shunt have a coronary bypass


bypassed; bypassing; bypasses

Definition of bypass (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to avoid by means of a bypass bypass a congested area
b : to cause to follow a bypass
2a : to neglect or ignore usually intentionally
b : circumvent attempting to bypass the law

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Synonyms for bypass

Synonyms: Verb

circumnavigate, circumvent, detour, skirt

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Examples of bypass in a Sentence


The bridge is being rebuilt so we'll have to take the bypass.


To bypass the city, take the highway that circles it. Is there a way to bypass the bridge construction? He bypassed the manager and talked directly to the owner. She managed to bypass the usual paperwork.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the early 2000s, the Hong Kong government began an ambitious land reclamation project on Hong Kong Island to create acres of new waterfront land, underground bypasses and to expand the subway system. Antony Dapiran, CNN, "City of dissent: Hong Kong has a proud tradition of protesting to protect its unique identity," 14 June 2019 Governments looking to exert even greater control over their citizens online—such as through limiting the effectiveness of censorship bypass tools—may want to pursue this deeper form of internet fragmentation. Justin Sherman, WIRED, "Russia and Iran Plan to Fundamentally Isolate the Internet," 6 June 2019 The work was classified as the first phase of WisDOT's bypass project. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The $50 million West Waukesha Bypass project will (finally) be complete this fall, DOT says," 4 June 2019 The city’s Engineering Department conducted a traffic survey in 1937 and found that a north-south bypass on both sides of downtown would be the best solution. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "A look back at the Alaskan Way Viaduct as its demise — and the new Highway 99 tunnel — draw near," 7 Jan. 2019 That subject is remote compared with a future bypass on U.S. Route 90. Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "Lessons From a Republican Survivor," 4 Jan. 2019 Back to that powertrain: endless entertainment comes from the optional performance exhaust system ($1,250), which opens bypass valves and unleashes about 3-6 dB extra bark and crackle depending on engine speed and throttle position. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "Mercedes-AMG’s C63 S Cabrio has it all: Power, sound, fuel use, and cost," 10 Feb. 2018 The supercharger with twin-screw rotors has an electronic bypass valve to hold boost pressure to a maximum of 11.6 psi. Mark Maynard,, "2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: In hot pursuit," 2 Feb. 2018 The study, released Tuesday, shows that less traffic is using OR 99W from Newberg to Dundee and that more travelers are using Springbrook Road and other area streets than before the bypass opening. Rosemarie Stein,, "Portland Wednesday Traffic: Initial counts show 12,000 vehicles using the Newberg-Dundee Bypass daily," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Texas is one of 16 states that allow parents to bypass vaccine requirements for enrolling their kids in school by claiming a conscientious exemption, along with citing medical or religious concerns. Elizabeth Byrne, Shiying Cheng, Houston Chronicle, "Texas vaccine exemption rates have reached an all-time high. Did Texas make it too easy for parents," 12 June 2019 The Henry Danger stars have charmed fans since the show began in 2014, and the sitcom has now bypassed both iCarly and The Thundermans' 100-episode count, making it the longest-running live-action series in Nickelodeon history. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "Ella Anderson & Riele Downs Reveal Secrets About the Henry Danger Musical," 11 June 2019 Sofar Sounds also recently launched an app available for Apple and Android phones that allows users to bypass the waiting list and receive instant tickets. Grace Dickinson,, "Secret concert series Sofar Sounds is growing too big for the living room," 27 June 2018 The new law, which Donnelly helped write with Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., allows people with life-threatening illnesses to bypass the Food and Drug Administration to obtain experimental medications. John Wagner And Sean Sullivan,, "Trump publicly praises Indiana Democrat he recently attacked as 'Sleepin' Joe'," 30 May 2018 The new law will allow terminally ill patients to mostly bypass the FDA application, though drugs must still pass early-stage testing by the FDA and still be in the process of gaining full approval. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This Pewaukee family fought for 'right-to-try' legislation. President Trump just signed it into law — while they watched," 30 May 2018 The idea is that using a commercial brokerage will allow prospective tenants to bypass what is normally a cumbersome, bureaucratic process for submitting a restaurant proposal. Lori Weisberg,, "UC San Diego ups its dining offerings by going local," 27 Mar. 2018 This route would bypass Europe, Africa and Asia altogether, cutting a long, expensive shipping route down considerably. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Meet 'Ural,' Russia's New Nuclear-Powered Icebreaking Behemoth," 28 May 2019 An intense beam of light bypasses the surface of your skin and gets absorbed by hair follicles, destroying their ability to generate new hair over time. Glamour, "Your Ultimate Guide to Body Hair Removal," 24 May 2019

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


1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1736, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for bypass

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for bypass

The first known use of bypass was in 1736

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More Definitions for bypass



English Language Learners Definition of bypass

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a road that goes around a blocked or very crowded area
medical : a procedure done to allow blood to flow past a blocked blood vessel to reach the heart



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

: to go around or avoid (a place or area)
: to avoid or ignore (someone or something) especially to get something done quicker


by·​pass | \ ˈbī-ˌpas How to pronounce bypass (audio) \

Kids Definition of bypass

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a road serving as a substitute route around a blocked or crowded area


bypassed; bypassing

Kids Definition of bypass (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make a detour around
2 : avoid sense 1, forgo … would probably be permitted to bypass most of the training.— Lois Lowry, The Giver


by·​pass | \ ˈbī-ˌpas How to pronounce bypass (audio) \

Medical Definition of bypass

: a surgically established shunt cardiopulmonary bypass of blood from the right atrium to the aorta also : a surgical procedure for the establishment of a shunt

Note: When a bypass is performed on more than one coronary artery or branch, the number of times (double, triple, etc.) is often specified.

I was immediately scheduled for a triple bypass, but they decided to try an angioplasty.
— Terry Todd, Sports Illustrated, 1 Aug. 1983
— see coronary artery bypass, gastric bypass, jejunoileal bypass

Other Words from bypass

bypass transitive verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on bypass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bypass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bypass

Spanish Central: Translation of bypass

Nglish: Translation of bypass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bypass for Arabic Speakers

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showing courage and determination

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