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

Drivers coming from western Arizona or California who are traveling past the Phoenix area should consider using the State Route 85 bypass route (exit 112) off of I-10, south to Interstate 8, then connecting again with I-10 south of Casa Grande. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "Portion of I-10 to shutdown this weekend in southeast Valley," 9 Aug. 2019 The signals on Highway 50 in Placerville will remain, but bypass routes should ease the long delays. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "Tougher scooter rules coming to San Jose: Roadshow," 23 July 2019 The project could send trucks to nearby Logan Airport by connecting with the Coughlin bypass route to the southwest, keeping those vehicles out of Route 1A’s notorious bottlenecks. Jon Chesto,, "Hidden stretch of East Boston waterfront draws developer’s interest," 15 July 2019 WisDOT and the Wisconsin & Southern railroad agreed on a compromise in early 2018 that eliminated the immediate need for a grade separation along the bypass route. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The $50 million West Waukesha Bypass project will (finally) be complete this fall, DOT says," 4 June 2019 Cardiac monitoring is not charged separately during bypass surgery, for example. Jon Hamilton, Dallas News, "Austin woman's spinal surgery brings back-breaking $94,000 bill a year later," 20 June 2019 Over the years, Stevens survived both prostate cancer and heart bypass surgery and was the picture of good health. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dead at age 99," 19 June 2019 The bypass will replace a 112-year-old rail junction that carries about 150,000 riders every weekday. Mary Wisniewski,, "Construction on CTA Red-Purple bypass to begin this fall," 29 July 2019 Jones said that the children struggle with night terrors, and Boston’s grandmother had to undergo bypass surgery because the murder placed such a strain on her. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Civic Center drug dealer sentenced to life in prison without parole for murders of three homeless people," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One is defects: every wafer has some, so Mr Feldman’s team had to find a way to bypass faulty cores. The Economist, "Cerebras unveils the world’s chunkiest AI chip," 22 Aug. 2019 Olynyk had already bypassed traveling with the Canadian team for a series of exhibitions in Australia. Ira Winderman,, "Knee injury sidelines Heat’s Kelly Olynyk from basketball’s World Cup," 14 Aug. 2019 Belt Line is now a way to bypass the traffic passing through the county’s major highways and a way to avoid Dallas’ city center. Dallas News, "How long is North Texas’ Belt Line (or Beltline) Road? Curious Texas goes for a ride.," 9 Aug. 2019 The player then can bypass the conflict and carry on. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The Player: Yes, Trump is wrong to blame video games for mass shootings, but it’s complicated," 8 Aug. 2019 The ballot initiative bypasses the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) experts and the Colorado Wildlife Commission (CWC) appointed to make these decisions. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Responding to these tragic shootings; more letters (8/6/19)," 6 Aug. 2019 While some might have age restrictions, users can typically bypass it by providing a fake birthday or age. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Police say these apps could be dangerous for children," 6 Aug. 2019 Desmond said the goal is not to leave anything out or to bypass any laws or requirements in the permitting process, but simply to find ways to make the process move more quickly. San Diego Union-Tribune, "County looks to streamline permit process to bolster housing," 24 July 2019 While those systems had helped the major tech companies cement their roles in the internet ecosystem, Nadal also saw the seeds of a way to bypass them entirely while retaining the advantages of cloud computing. NBC News, "These technologists think the internet is broken. So they're building another one.," 21 July 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

9 Sep 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 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

Comments on bypass

What made you want to look up bypass? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


readily or continually undergoing change

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