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 The rules are tight, but with leeway built in, too. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Clippers hit the road, with strict NBA protocols sure to be followed," 31 Dec. 2020 That’s largely because of leeway given to owners by lenders on their car payments. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, "Repo men face a big year in 2021 as car payments go overdue," 21 Dec. 2020 States have been granted leeway to interpret the guidelines, leaving hospital administrators to decide who should receive the first doses and how to administer them. Washington Post, "With a coronavirus vaccine authorized, hospitals scramble to determine when it will arrive and who gets it first," 12 Dec. 2020 Speculation has already started about how much leeway winning a national title has bought Orgeron if this year proves not just to be a blip. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: LSU's national championship starting to feel like a distant memory as embarrassing losses mount," 7 Dec. 2020 Under that approach, the Fed has had less leeway to adjust interest rates, even in a severe recession. Arkansas Online, "Controversial Fed nominee Shelton stalls in Senate test vote," 17 Nov. 2020 States have leeway to come up with their own recommendations, but most take cues from the federal committee and will likely adopt similar recommendations, though perhaps with some variations. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Who will California vaccinate next? Bay Area teachers, grocery store workers could be next in line," 22 Dec. 2020 Okoro will get the leeway to improve next to the young backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "NBA offseason grades: From Bucks to Lakers and beyond, which teams have set up themselves for success?," 16 Dec. 2020 County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher pointed out that places of worship generally do have greater leeway to bring together large groups of worshipers in much larger groups than health orders allow for other types of organizations. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Leaders plead with the public to spare health care workers this holiday season," 2 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for leeway

Time Traveler

The first known use of leeway was in 1669

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Statistics for leeway

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leeway.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leeway. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for leeway


How to pronounce leeway (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of leeway

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

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