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

Archrival Universal, as well as virtually every other theme park that has a bypass-the-lines option, charge extra for the service. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Disney parks tech upgrades make visiting more convenient," 27 Feb. 2018 That would negate a concern that ballooned in September, when the railroad indicated the road project would necessitate an underpass, which could add $11 million to the project and delay completion of the bypass by four years. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bypassing an issue? Railroad and state agree to deal that could keep Waukesha West Bypass on schedule," 10 Jan. 2018 Nonetheless, the bypass of ECC is a major milestone that suggests that the threat of Rowhammer continues to evolve and can't easily be discounted. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Potentially disastrous Rowhammer bitflips can bypass ECC protections," 22 Nov. 2018 Planned Parenthood of Florida reported in its annual report to the Legislature that while judicial bypass is rare it is needed in cases where teens are at risk. Mary Ellen Klas, miamiherald, "Rights to abortion, privacy could diminish under proposed constitutional amendment," 25 Jan. 2018 While most foreign auto makers bypass tariffs by building vehicles locally through joint ventures with Chinese partners, luxury imports are a lucrative niche for some. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "U.S. Car Makers Left in the Dust as China’s Tariff Cut Boosts Europe, Japan," 10 Aug. 2018 There are plans to make more room for rivers and create a new flood bypass — a dedicated zone of farmland that would protect Stockton when the San Joaquin River reaches its flood stage. Rong-gong Lin Ii,, "The 'nightmare' California flood more dangerous than a huge earthquake," 25 Mar. 2018 Work on the bypass, which is capped at $50.7 million, began in 2017. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Waukesha Bypass won't need a costly railroad bridge after all, state commissioner rules," 17 Apr. 2018 The bypass route travels southwest of Newberg and reconnects with OR 99W just south of Dundee. *** WILSONVILLE 6:30 a.m.; Crash blocks the left lane of I-5 northbound at the north end of the Boone Bridge. 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

Arriving promptly at 8 pm for her hosting duties, punk icon Patti Smith bypassed red carpet interviews, grabbing a drink with her friends in the corner instead. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "The Coolest New Yorkers Came Out to Celebrate the Metrograph Theater's Third Birthday," 25 Mar. 2019 Increasingly, savvy leaders are bypassing the standard protocols and government processes of American diplomacy to go directly to President Trump himself, according to current and former officials, allies and foreign-policy experts. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Talk to Trump, Skip the Diplomats: World Leaders’ New U.S. Tactic," 14 Mar. 2019 Businesses are bypassing Missouri, and lack of economic growth – if not corrected – will force young people to leave our state just to find a job that will support their ambitions. kansascity, "Jean Paul Bradshaw," 30 June 2018 Stemerman and Stefanowski both bypassed the convention, opting instead to go the signature route. Daniela Altimari,, "In Governor's Race, Petitions Are In And The Counting Begins," 12 June 2018 In the Senate, Gillibrand invoked the obscure Rule 14, which allows members to expedite legislation by bypassing committee deliberations and putting it straight on the Senate calendar. Tara Golshan, Vox, "House members are demanding a vote on immigration — and leadership may not be able to stop them," 18 May 2018 An unusual reversal in the bond markets has bypassed Asia. Kevin Kingsbury, WSJ, "Emerging-Markets Rally Leaves Asian Bonds Behind," 29 Jan. 2019 My train bypassed Switzerland’s imposing Alpstein before rolling over Bodensee’s broad hills and through flat farmland before finally reaching Munich, the capital of, and gateway to, Bavaria. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Perfect Long Weekend in Bavaria," 17 Sep. 2018 In a few cases, thieves in the Mat-Su have bypassed security systems by sawing directly into the siding of a house. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Protecting your property – and yourself – in Southcentral Alaska: Troopers and police share their tips," 1 July 2018

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

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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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