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

Synonyms for bypass

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of bypass in a Sentence

Noun The bridge is being rebuilt so we'll have to take the bypass. Verb 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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The section of 26th Avenue between Kemman and Maple avenues has long been a bypass for motorists looking for a way to avoid heavy traffic and slower roadways when entering or driving through the Village. Hank Beckman,, 24 Mar. 2022 Before the transplant, Bennett had been hospitalized for six weeks with a life-threatening arrhythmia and had been connected to a heart-lung bypass machine. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, 6 May 2022 Bennett survived the eight-hour procedure, but remained connected to a heart-lung bypass machine for a period of time after the surgery. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 10 Mar. 2022 Bennett was bedridden and on a heart-lung bypass machine at the University of Maryland Medical Center from October 2021 until the transplant surgery. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 9 Mar. 2022 The remaining patients Tuesday included 13 who were in intensive care, 12 who were on ventilators and one who was on a heart-lung bypass machine, Taylor said. Andy Davis, Arkansas Online, 16 Feb. 2022 People in the Pacific Northwest medical community heard of a doctor in Washington who got COVID-19 and had to go on a heart-lung bypass machine. Michael Armstrong, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Jan. 2022 Bennett could be taken off the bypass machine as early as Tuesday, if all goes well, his doctors said. Katie Campione,, 10 Jan. 2022 He had been admitted to the hospital weeks earlier, and was connected to a heart-lung bypass machine after suffering life-threatening arrhythmia. Talal Ansari, WSJ, 10 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb About three dozen other states require either consent or notification, with some ability to bypass the requirement in the case of abusive parents. Mark Pazniokas, Hartford Courant, 13 May 2022 An interagency task force has been set up to block Russian attempts to bypass the sanctions through Israel. Michael Oren, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 An initiative designed to reduce single-use plastics and polystyrene food containers will be on the ballot, a move by environmentalists to bypass the Legislature, where such measures have repeatedly failed in the face of industry lobbying. Susanne Ruststaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Apr. 2022 Katherine, who has achieved a level of privatization beyond the alphabetical designation, describes power as the ability to bypass image entirely—the ultimate status symbol is to not be perceived. Kate Knibbs, Wired, 30 Mar. 2022 The lawsuit is an effort to bypass the Ohio Supreme Court, which has rejected three sets of state legislative maps as unconstiutional under Ohio’s new anti-gerrymandering laws. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 24 Mar. 2022 Kofi Cockburn, Illinois, Jr., C: The 7-footer's return and decision to bypass the NBA helped the Fighting Illini win a share of the Big Ten regular season title. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 21 Mar. 2022 In order to bypass these limitations, Lürssen is using methanol—which can be housed in conventional tanks and converted to hydrogen—as the main fuel source. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 20 Mar. 2022 Disney’s decision to largely bypass theaters in favor of Disney+ has also created a swirl of tension. New York Times, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of bypass


1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1736, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Learn More About bypass

Dictionary Entries Near bypass



bypass condenser

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bypass

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bypass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for bypass


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 — see coronary artery bypass, gastric bypass, jejunoileal bypass

Other Words from bypass

bypass transitive verb

More from Merriam-Webster on bypass

Nglish: Translation of bypass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bypass for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!