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

While most foreign auto makers bypass tariffs by building vehicles locally through joint ventures with Chinese partners, luxury imports are a lucrative niche for some. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "U.S. Car Makers Left in the Dust as China’s Tariff Cut Boosts Europe, Japan," 10 Aug. 2018 There are plans to make more room for rivers and create a new flood bypass — a dedicated zone of farmland that would protect Stockton when the San Joaquin River reaches its flood stage. Rong-gong Lin Ii,, "The 'nightmare' California flood more dangerous than a huge earthquake," 25 Mar. 2018 Work on the bypass, which is capped at $50.7 million, began in 2017. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Waukesha Bypass won't need a costly railroad bridge after all, state commissioner rules," 17 Apr. 2018 The bypass route travels southwest of Newberg and reconnects with OR 99W just south of Dundee. *** WILSONVILLE 6:30 a.m.; Crash blocks the left lane of I-5 northbound at the north end of the Boone Bridge. Rosemarie Stein,, "Portland Wednesday Traffic: Initial counts show 12,000 vehicles using the Newberg-Dundee Bypass daily," 9 May 2018 The phishing campaign reported by Certfa was effective for other reasons besides its bypass of 2fa. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Iranian phishers bypass 2fa protections offered by Yahoo Mail and Gmail," 13 Dec. 2018 Apple has a long history of lockscreen bypass bugs. Tom Warren, The Verge, "iOS 12.1 exploit bypasses the lockscreen for access to contacts," 1 Nov. 2018 In 2010, Entertainment Tonight reported Reynolds underwent quintuple bypass surgery. Fox News, "Burt Reynolds, legendary actor of 'Smokey and the Bandit' fame, dead at 82," 6 Sep. 2018 The last time the world saw an authentication-bypass bug with such serious consequences and requiring so little effort was 11 months ago, when Apple’s macOS let people log in as admin without entering a password. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Trivial authentication bypass in libssh leaves servers wide open," 17 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An unusual reversal in the bond markets has bypassed Asia. Kevin Kingsbury, WSJ, "Emerging-Markets Rally Leaves Asian Bonds Behind," 29 Jan. 2019 My train bypassed Switzerland’s imposing Alpstein before rolling over Bodensee’s broad hills and through flat farmland before finally reaching Munich, the capital of, and gateway to, Bavaria. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Perfect Long Weekend in Bavaria," 17 Sep. 2018 In a few cases, thieves in the Mat-Su have bypassed security systems by sawing directly into the siding of a house. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Protecting your property – and yourself – in Southcentral Alaska: Troopers and police share their tips," 1 July 2018 Thomas bypassed a college career at Texas Christian for the life of a minor leaguer. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "Mount Carmel's Alek Thomas is the Daily Southtown Baseball Player of the Year," 22 June 2018 Trump has bypassed these potential nominees and chosen instead someone who would have to receive on-the-job training in consumer protection, financial regulation and running a government agency. David Lazarus,, "Trump's pick for consumer agency chief has never stood up for consumers," 18 June 2018 UPnP weaknesses can also allow hackers to bypass firewall protections. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "A 100,000-router botnet is feeding on a 5-year-old UPnP bug in Broadcom chips," 12 Nov. 2018 With McConnell and Schumer's stamp of approval, the bill will now be quickly moved in the Senate -- likely bypassing committee process and being brought directly to the floor of the Senate for a vote. Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, "McConnell, Schumer say long-stalled Senate sexual harassment bill will pass 'in short order'," 23 May 2018 By doing so, these groups would get a permit to cultivate or dispense medical marijuana while bypassing the rigorous application process that current permit holders underwent. Steve Twedt,, "Judge grants temporary injunction in Pa. medical marijuana case," 22 May 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

11 Mar 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 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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