in·​ter·​state | \ˌin-tər-ˈstāt \

Definition of interstate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of, connecting, or existing between two or more states especially of the U.S. interstate commerce


in·​ter·​state | \ˈin-tər-ˌstāt \

Definition of interstate (Entry 2 of 2)

: any of a system of expressways connecting most major U.S. cities

called also interstate highway

Examples of interstate in a Sentence


You'll get there quicker if you take the interstate.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Nashville Yards complex is right off the interstate downtown, but that section of I-40 bottlenecks with every wreck, which occurs daily. Cari Wade Gervin, Curbed, "Will Amazon be good for Nashville?," 21 Nov. 2018 Since then, the project's backing company, Lighthouse Resources, has sued Washington state, and six states have lined up behind the company, saying that only the federal government can regulate interstate commerce. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump’s coal rescue is getting more complicated," 16 Oct. 2018 Lewis was a giant of the civil rights movement, organizing sit-ins to protest segregated lunch counters and volunteering as a freedom rider, risking violence by defying segregation on interstate buses in the South., "In demand: Civil rights legend John Lewis headlines Harvard and BU commencements," 23 May 2018 But on Friday, the authorities said that a man who lived in the Harlem building used gasoline to deliberately start the fire and then fled the city aboard an interstate bus, even as scores of firefighters battled the blaze. Luis FerrÉ-sadurnÍ, New York Times, "Tenant Used Gas to Start Upper Manhattan Fire, Prosecutors Say," 9 Feb. 2018 The goal was to test the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling from the previous year that made segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional. Mark Curnutte,, "Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Cincinnati marchers ask: 'If not now, when?'," 15 Jan. 2018 Narcotics detectives developed information about the delivery and set up surveillance along the interstate with help from Louisiana State Police troopers, the arrest report said. Michelle Hunter,, "New Orleans woman stopped with 52.5 pounds of marijuana," 24 Apr. 2018 He was found guilty of conspiracy, interstate transportation of firearms with intent to commit a felony, false statements, felon in possession of firearms, and conspiracy to provide material support to foreign terrorist organization. azcentral, "Phoenix man sentenced to 30 years for Dallas terrorist attack seeks new trial," 13 June 2018 For example, Purdue called on two providers 48 times after law enforcement told Purdue the pair was responsible for significant interstate OxyContin diversion, the lawsuit says. Fox News, "OxyContin maker placed profits over people, lawsuit reveals," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

More like dumb luck: A trooper spotted a Freightliner tractor-trailer weaving April 26 onto the shoulder along the interstate and switched on his emergency lights, according to a probable-cause affidavit. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Is the World Done With Liberal Democracy?," 1 June 2018 For decades, interstates have cleaved open neighborhoods, lowered property values and compounded segregation. Reif Larsen, The Seattle Times, "LA Reverential: A City’s Chill Spots," 1 Aug. 2018 In Chicago, the main event was overshadowed when thousands of protesters supporting gun control blocked traffic on a freeway and forced the shut down of a major interstate. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Heard at rally for 2nd Amendment rights: 'We aren’t letting our guns go'," 7 July 2018 Saarinen's soaring arc of steel is an icon of the automobile age, an attraction that has always been more about playing to the passing audience of the interstates than any particular relevance to the idea of national expansion. Philip Kennicott,, "50 years later, the St. Louis Arch emerges with a new name and a skeptical view of western expansion," 26 June 2018 In one large homeless encampment in Oakland, hidden under the interstate, makeshift tents cluster together beneath flimsily tied tarps. The Economist, "Can a new mayor fix San Francisco’s housing and homelessness problems?," 31 May 2018 The fast chargers, which the U.S. Energy Department says can provide 50-70 miles of range for every 20 minutes of charging, would be along major roads, such as interstates, although no locations have been selected. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Consumers Energy pitches $7.5M electric vehicle charging plan," 17 May 2018 Other factors played a role in the decision: the local talent pool, the location near interstates 90 and 95, and the fact the consumer business was already there. Jon Chesto,, "Aetna plans to add 250-plus jobs in Wellesley," 17 Apr. 2018 Being a pedestrian on the interstate and improper stopping on the interstate, according to state police. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Virginia Family Calls for Hate Crime Investigation After White Man Calls Daughter N-Word and Hits Her With His Truck," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interstate.' 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 interstate


1844, in the meaning defined above


1968, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for interstate

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for interstate

The first known use of interstate was in 1844

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More Definitions for interstate



English Language Learners Definition of interstate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to or connecting different states : existing or occurring between states especially in the U.S.



English Language Learners Definition of interstate (Entry 2 of 2)

: a major highway that connects two or more states : an interstate highway


in·​ter·​state | \ˌin-tər-ˈstāt \

Kids Definition of interstate

: existing or occurring between two or more states an interstate highway

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with interstate

Spanish Central: Translation of interstate

Nglish: Translation of interstate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on interstate

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to enclose within walls

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