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

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 Nonetheless, the bypass of ECC is a major milestone that suggests that the threat of Rowhammer continues to evolve and can't easily be discounted. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Potentially disastrous Rowhammer bitflips can bypass ECC protections," 22 Nov. 2018 Planned Parenthood of Florida reported in its annual report to the Legislature that while judicial bypass is rare it is needed in cases where teens are at risk. Mary Ellen Klas, miamiherald, "Rights to abortion, privacy could diminish under proposed constitutional amendment," 25 Jan. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When non-disabled people hire people with down syndrome to bypass long waits in lines for rides at amusement parks, they aren’t held accountable. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "The College Admissions Scandal Could Have Lasting Impacts for Disabled People," 13 Mar. 2019 The music was irresistible, bypassing the brain and heading straight for the heart. Tom Maxwell, Longreads, "Bob Dorough and the Magic Number," 26 Apr. 2018 While players in the past have bypassed college to play overseas, this was an unprecedented move, one that likely will pick up momentum. Doug Haller, azcentral, "The NCAA promises changes to college basketball, but will it matter?," 1 Apr. 2018 Walmart has been buying health care for its workers directly from providers in six different regions — bypassing insurers who usually negotiate with doctors and hospitals. Fortune, "Walmart Said to Be in Talks With Humana to Provide Health Care," 30 Mar. 2018 Walmart has been buying healthcare for its workers directly from providers in six different regions — bypassing insurers who usually negotiate with doctors and hospitals. Ed Hammond,, "Walmart in talks with Humana for deeper partnership," 30 Mar. 2018 The other scenario would be for the 76ers to bypass the Cavaliers and claim the No. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Should highest seed or LeBron avoidance be Heat priority? | Commentary," 10 Mar. 2018 But because the Constitution vests the pardon power in the president, Trump or any other president can bypass that process and grant a pardon on his own. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Can Trump really do that? The presidential pardon power, explained," 4 June 2018 Arriving promptly at 8 pm for her hosting duties, punk icon Patti Smith bypassed red carpet interviews, grabbing a drink with her friends in the corner instead. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "The Coolest New Yorkers Came Out to Celebrate the Metrograph Theater's Third Birthday," 25 Mar. 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

23 Apr 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

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something valued as if it were money

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