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

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 But in this case, UC San Diego Health is using bypass as a preventive measure. Paul Sisson,, "UC San Diego hospitals begin to divert patients as strike looks likely," 5 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The Latest on hurricanes near Hawaii (all times local): 5:30 p.m. One hurricane is on course to bypass Hawaii offshore, while another behind it is heading straight for the islands. Fox News, "The Latest: Hurricane Norman passing Hawaii, Olivia nearing," 6 Sep. 2018 Lawmakers have said the provision is aimed at Chinese companies that had been bypassing the Cfius review by forming joint ventures with American companies or licensing their technology. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "Senate Votes to Reinstate Penalties on ZTE, Setting Up Clash With White House," 18 June 2018 Amid the rise of streaming, consumers have been bypassing cable TV packages, which have long been Comcast’s bread-and-butter. Meg James,, "Brian Roberts has been the force behind Comcast's growth. Now he's in the hunt for Fox," 10 June 2018 Businessman Bob Stefanowski is bypassing the convention — more on that in a bit. Neil Vigdor,, "Tip Sheet: What You Need To Know About The State GOP Convention," 11 May 2018 After the shooting, Rodgers, in a statement, denied allowing people to bypass security. Sharon Coolidge,, "Cameo nightclub owner filed bankruptcy, halting negligence lawsuit," 4 Jan. 2018 In court papers filed Tuesday, Maryland’s attorney general, Democrat Brian Frosh, argued that President Trump bypassed the Constitution and federal law when naming Mr. Whitaker to succeed Jeff Sessions, who was ousted as attorney general last week. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Maryland Files Challenge to Matthew Whitaker’s Installation as Acting Attorney General," 13 Nov. 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

3 Jun 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

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