lee·​way | \ ˈlē-ˌwā How to pronounce leeway (audio) \

Definition of leeway

1 : an allowable margin of freedom or variation : tolerance The new rules allow managers greater leeway in making decisions.
2a : off-course lateral movement of a ship when underway The sailboat's centerboard helps to reduce leeway.
b : the angle between the heading and the track of an airplane

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Examples of leeway in a Sentence

They give their students leeway to try new things. you will be given some leeway in choosing how to carry out the project

Recent Examples on the Web

Cyclists have won some leeway on the 16th Street Mall — some years ago, Sundays were opened to bikes, and then Saturdays, too. Andrew Kenney, The Denver Post, "Why are bikes banned from Denver’s 16th Street Mall? And will it ever change?," 22 July 2019 Judge Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee, said the case wasn’t that simple because Congress has given the Pentagon some leeway to move money around for high-priority items that were based on unforeseen military requirements. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Federal Court Weighs Border Wall Funding Case," 20 June 2019 Some leeway was granted after Hurricane Katrina, as various krewes and their membership faced the challenge of rebuilding. Greg Larose, nola.com, "What Mardi Gras parades are left in Metairie?," 19 June 2019 Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, signed a replacement rule that gives states leeway in deciding whether to require efficiency upgrades at existing coal plants. Ellen Knickmeyer, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump EPA finalizes rollback of key Obama climate rule that targeted coal plants," 19 June 2019 This is also the most playful mode—LDVI will extend you some leeway with regard to slip angles before gathering it all up for you when in Sport. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The Lamborghini Huracán Evo is actually proof of intelligent design," 7 June 2019 However, Bochy acknowledges that extending some leeway to those kind of players is more difficult at a time when many front-office decisions are based on metrics, rather than the eye test. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "El Mago: Javier Baez's flair is just what baseball needs," 12 July 2018 The existence of an alternate route gave the United States some leeway in its dealings with Pakistan. Keith Gessen, New York Times, "The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio," 8 May 2018 Eventually, the team decided to start with something temporary, using the team's best guess for what might work and offering a lot of leeway to course-correct if things go wrong. Wired, "Reddit Now Lets You Livestream. What Could Go Wrong?," 19 Aug. 2019

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

1669, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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Statistics for leeway

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for leeway

The first known use of leeway was in 1669

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English Language Learners Definition of leeway

: freedom to do something the way you want to do it

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More from Merriam-Webster on leeway

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leeway

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leeway

Spanish Central: Translation of leeway

Nglish: Translation of leeway for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leeway for Arabic Speakers

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