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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Examples of bypass in a Sentence

Noun The bridge is being rebuilt so we'll have to take the bypass. Verb 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 There are also some machines — ECMO Machines — that are used for a heart-lung bypass that can help oxygenate blood in patients. Wendy Grossman Kantor,, "Why Ventilators Are so Important in the Fight Against Coronavirus," 1 Apr. 2020 Pruning shears: Fiskars has steel bypass pruning shears designed to cut stems and light branches. oregonlive, "Suit up for World Naked Gardening Day: A holster to hold pruners," 1 May 2020 The bypass mail segment is a unique piece of the puzzle for rural air carriers. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Mail and freight keep Alaska air carriers on life support during pandemic," 25 Apr. 2020 With Wirfs and Thomas gone, in this scenario the Browns pick up two extra second-rounders to move back 11 spots and bypass Mekhi Becton and Jedrick Wills as tackle options to settle into this second group of tackles. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Trading down and snagging a future star receiver in Cleveland Browns’ perfect NFL Draft 2020: Doug Lesmerises," 21 Apr. 2020 Usually sustained by salty irrigation drainage from Arizona farms, the wetland had been starved of water for four months while a bypass drain underwent repairs. Ian James,, "How a trickle of water is breathing life into the parched Colorado River Delta," 19 Apr. 2020 That includes six of the 34 patients who were receiving mechanical ventilation or the support of a blood-circulating bypass device when the study began; the death rate in this more severely affected group was 18%. Los Angeles Times, "Remdesivir shows promise in preliminary coronavirus trial," 10 Apr. 2020 Garden gloves, preferably gauntlet style, so that your forearms are protected from thorns Sharp bypass shears make clean cuts that will do little damage to the plant. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, "How to Prune Roses the Right Way," 7 Apr. 2020 Sand and pea-gravel banks are ideal places to look, but bypass silty, mucky flats and steep banks. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "How to Fish for Trophy Panfish on a Spawning Bed," 19 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These days, many leading fertility centers use techniques that allow them to bypass all these steps. Randi Hutter Epstein, New York Times, "Tinder for Sperm: Even in the Petri Dish, Looks and Athleticism Are Prized," 17 Apr. 2020 To increase the number of available medical workers, the bill allows doctors, nurses and other health care workers to temporarily bypass the normal licensing procedures. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Sweeping law promises Alaskans coronavirus economic relief and tough new tools to fight it," 30 Mar. 2020 The order, effective immediately, will allow the Department of Public Health to bypass regular hiring guidelines for public healthcare workers. Trisha Thadani,, "As coronavirus threat looms, SF cuts red tape to speed up hiring of public health nurses," 17 Mar. 2020 The declaration allows her to bypass regulations to increase city spending, contracting and borrowing to address the growing public health threat. NBC News, "Seattle a 'ghost town' as residents face uncertainty of growing coronavirus outbreak," 5 Mar. 2020 Streaming platforms allow the consumer to bypass unwanted music while staying on the same playlist or channel. Tom Roland, Billboard, "Country Radio Seminar Finds 100-Year-Old Medium At Crossroads: Can It Reinvent Itself (Again)?," 20 Feb. 2020 In July, the state legislature passed a law that allows police in Philadelphia to bypass Krasner and ask the state attorney general to press gun possession charges. Alex Yablon, The New Republic, "Larry Krasner’s Lonely, Radical Crusade to Solve America’s Gun Problem," 28 Jan. 2020 Cameras scan and record the faces of employees and temporary contractors, allowing the workers to bypass turnstiles. Catherine Stupp, WSJ, "The Humble Office ID Badge Is About to Be Unrecognizable," 6 Jan. 2020 Some lawyers suggest this could allow Democrats to bypass White House impediments to getting testimony from high-level administration officials. Mark Sherman, Twin Cities, "Sticky impeachment trial questions: How long? Who testifies?," 27 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for bypass

Time Traveler

The first known use of bypass was in 1736

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Statistics for bypass

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bypass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for bypass


How to pronounce bypass (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bypass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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