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 only other toll is in Tuscaloosa, where a western bypass road around the city that crosses over the Black Warrior River costs the typical driver $1.50. al, "Tolls not just ‘an Alabama problem’," 11 Aug. 2019 The bypass work will be followed by reconstruction of Red and Purple line track structure in the Lakeview area. Mary Wisniewski,, "Construction on CTA Red-Purple bypass to begin this fall," 29 July 2019 But there was no bypass road at the time — and orders were orders. Sergei L. Loiko,, "Secrets of Chernobyl spill out more than three decades after the nuclear disaster," 30 June 2019 Fish screens in a bypass canal longer than a football field will allow the trout – once believed to have gone extinct – to get past the high-desert dam for the first time since it was built in 1905 to divert water to farmers and ranchers. USA TODAY, "Disney surprise, foreign feral hogs, porous pavement: News from around our 50 states," 13 Sep. 2019 The project will include creek channel widening and deepening, a high water flow bypass tunnel and box culvert replacements, but no levees or flood walls, an omission Irvin praised. Erin Woo, The Mercury News, "Santa Clara’s Llagas Creek flood control project was decades in the making," 28 Aug. 2019 Even if its strongest winds bypass Puerto Rico, the storm could soak parts of the island with 6 inches of rain. Patricia Mazzei,, "Puerto Rico is on alert for possible hurricane," 27 Aug. 2019 Construction of the bypass and track realignment and reconstruction will take place between this fall and the winter of 2024. Mary Wisniewski,, "Work on CTA’s Red-Purple Line modernization project to start this fall," 27 Aug. 2019 The triple bypass procedure Saturday was scheduled after the former king had a checkup two months ago. Washington Post, "Spain’s ex-king Juan Carlos I recovers after heart surgery," 25 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The system will allow the bank to bypass third parties in the asset transfer process, saving costs and time, said Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo. Washington Post, "Wells Fargo to test blockchain system," 18 Sep. 2019 Connecticut currently permits parents who cite religious or philosophical objections to bypass a law that requires children to be inoculated against measles and other highly contagious preventable diseases before enrolling in school. Daniela Altimari,, "As Connecticut’s immunization levels decline, Gov. Ned Lamont, legislative leaders vow to repeal religious exemption for vaccines," 16 Sep. 2019 The Americans would have to marry patience with creativity to bypass that phalanx, all while taking care to avoid getting caught in transition. Brian Straus,, "For USMNT, Two Very Different Friendlies With One Set of Prevalent Themes," 11 Sep. 2019 Give yourselves permission to bypass all the logistics and just stay home. Brooke Kosofsky Glassberg, Good Housekeeping, "This 30-Day Self-Care Challenge Will Help Busy Moms Slow Down," 11 Sep. 2019 The only other Democratic candidate to bypass big-money events is her fellow liberal in the race, Senator Bernie Sanders. Shane Goldmacher, New York Times, "How Elizabeth Warren Raised Big Money Before She Denounced Big Money," 9 Sep. 2019 New music and entertainment tech offer celebrities direct-to-consumer platforms to bypass traditional social media. Brian Penick, Billboard, "Five Music Tech Investment Areas You Need to Know (Guest Column)," 5 Sep. 2019 The Heat hardly are in position to bypass utilizing any scoring talent on the roster. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Are Heat too ball-dominant, shooting-deficient?," 1 Sep. 2019 Once completed later this year, that pipeline would allow Russia to bypass Ukraine in its fuel shipments to Europe, effectively costing Ukraine’s economy around $3 billion per year in transit fees, Danyliuk says. Simon Shuster / Kiev, Time, "Ukraine Is Struggling to Make Sense of Trump and Bolton's Conflicting Messages on Russia," 30 Aug. 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

7 Oct 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).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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