by·​pass | \ ˈbī-ˌpas \

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

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 He was injured during a 1994 earthquake and in 1996 had quadruple-bypass surgery after a heart attack. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Harlan Ellison, prolific and pugnacious writer of science fiction, dies at 84," 29 June 2018 Camellia Smart already had come through quadruple-bypass surgery, but this was different. Charles P. Pierce,, "Marcus Smart Continues to Give the Celtics Exactly What They Need," 14 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The hope is to bypass the Trump administration’s retrenchment on climate change action. Umair Irfan, Vox, "World leaders are working out a climate deal in Poland — despite Trump," 14 Dec. 2018 Both New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo worked together with Amazon to bypass the standard review processes that would have given the city council a chance to veto or even review the deal. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "New York City council members railed against Amazon in the hope of renegotiating the HQ2 deal," 12 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, the scientific community worldwide has been fiercely critical of He’s efforts, which seems to have bypassed typical scientific conventions at nearly every step. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Flawed DNA editing of alleged ‘designer babies’ may have put their health at risk," 29 Nov. 2018 Katrina had her first surgery, to bypass the clotted artery in the brain and increase blood flow, one day after receiving her diagnosis. Fox News, "Sisters diagnosed with rare disease weeks apart recovering from brain surgeries," 28 Sep. 2018 In the other four cases, the parents had attempted to bypass the inspection process. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "CBP: No family separations happening at border ports from zero-tolerance policy," 9 July 2018 Walker, then a Republican, opted to bypass a GOP primary faceoff with then-Gov. Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, "Former Sen. Mark Begich’s entry causes angst in Alaska governor’s race," 4 July 2018 Looking at it requires finicky machines which use magnetism or electricity or both to bypass the bone. The Economist, "The eye's structure holds information about the health of the mind," 28 June 2018 Newsletter Sign-up British aircraft-engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC is considering bypassing British ports altogether. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Corporate Europe Faces ‘Unbearable’ Brexit Uncertainty," 17 Jan. 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

11 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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