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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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Police had managed to dislodge protesters trying to block the bypass around Paris in the morning and were progressively evacuating Place d’Italie during the afternoon., "PARIS — Scuffles between Paris police and activists Saturday marred the anniversary of the birth of the yellow vest movement against government policies seen as favoring the rich.," 17 Nov. 2019 Blockages were treated right away, with angioplasty in three-fourths of cases and a bypass in the rest. Washington Post, "Big study casts doubt on need for many heart procedures," 16 Nov. 2019 Blockages were treated right away, with angioplasty in three-fourths of cases and a bypass in the rest. Marilynn Marchione, Anchorage Daily News, "Big study casts doubt on need for many heart procedures," 16 Nov. 2019 Though a safer, paved bypass of Death Road was recently completed, mountain bikers and drivers still dare the one-lane route through the pass of La Cumbre on a barren, 15,255-foot ridge. National Geographic, "Here are 10 of the world’s most spectacular road trips," 13 Sep. 2019 The project will complete the four-lane expansion of the U.S. 82 bypass in Prattville. al, "How the new 6 cent gas tax increase will affect Alabama," 25 Aug. 2019 Crews will construct a temporary bypass in the interstate median. Mike Cruz, azcentral, "I-10 lane closures planned in Vail area for bridge construction project," 21 Aug. 2019 The old Route 61, which partially collapsed for the final time in 1993 and forced the state to build a bypass, still exists as an asphalt canvas for graffiti artists. Carrie Arnold, WIRED, "A Blazing Hot Coal Seam Shows How Microbes Can Spring to Life," 21 Apr. 2019 Highway 18 will continue along its usual Summit Avenue alignment west of the bypass and along Bluemound Road to the east. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The West Waukesha Bypass has finally (partially) opened to traffic," 19 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The agency has even purchased technology from the Israeli company Cellebrite to bypass encryption and passwords and extract data as quickly as possible from travelers’ phones and computers. Allie Funk, Wired, "Iran Tensions Increase Social Media Surveillance at the US Border," 9 Jan. 2020 The Maryland Transit Administration reported that the weather had forced LocalLink bus routes to bypass some locations. Justin George, Washington Post, "Van passenger dies in crash in Virginia linked to slick roads, police say," 8 Jan. 2020 Prosecutors accused Warren, a volunteer with the aid group No More Deaths, of intentionally shielding the migrants to help them avoid Border Patrol detection and providing them directions to bypass a nearby checkpoint in January 2018. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "The 15 crimes and tragedies that shocked Arizona in 2019," 18 Dec. 2019 As of now, Bloomberg’s path to the nomination is to bypass contests in early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in favor of the bevy of states with contests on Super Tuesday. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Michael Bloomberg And His Campaign Ads Are Tiring," 17 Dec. 2019 Downtown businesses were boarded up in the mid-1960s after travelers were able to bypass Highway 99 with the opening of the Interstate 5 freeway. oregonlive, "Retiring owner of iconic Ashland retail business with $1 million in sales says ‘make an offer’," 15 Dec. 2019 The hotel shut down after the war, when the completion of the highway allowed drivers to bypass Agua Caliente., "Megafarms and deeper wells are draining the water beneath rural Arizona – quietly, irreversibly," 5 Dec. 2019 California law allows the secretary of state to bypass the federal certification process if, in the secretary’s judgment, the system is secure and otherwise adequately meets standards. Hadley Hitson, Fortune, "Just How Regulated Are Our Nation’s Elections?," 4 Dec. 2019 Gordon, who was in line for the top intelligence job following the departure of Dan Coats, resigned in August after learning that the president sought to bypass her elevation. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Former DNI official: Trump had 'no foundation or framework to understand limits of intelligence' matters," 3 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for bypass

Time Traveler

The first known use of bypass was in 1736

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Statistics for bypass

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bypass.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bypass


How to pronounce bypass (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bypass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


dull or mediocre

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