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

Definition of leeway

1a : 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
2 : an allowable margin of freedom or variation : tolerance The new rules allow managers greater leeway in making decisions.

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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

In the case of airliner crashes or major pipeline, train or marine accidents, the NTSB has more leeway and a stronger legal basis to call investigators back to work, according to industry and labor officials. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Employee Furloughs Virtually Shut Down Accident Inquiries and Other Work at NTSB," 18 Jan. 2019 Amazon has its tentacles in various industries — retail, cloud services, grocery, content, ebooks, home assistants, and, most recently, pharmacy — and has financial leeway that allows it to take risks where its competitors cannot. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Happy Prime Day! Experts worry Amazon is building a dangerous monopoly.," 17 July 2018 People inside Fox News say that with Mr. Ailes out of the picture, the network’s producers and hosts have more leeway. New York Times, "Fox News Once Gave Trump a Perch. Now It’s His Bullhorn.," 1 July 2018 The Supreme Court has helped guide many states in the development of their laws, but states still have tremendous leeway over what types of standards to adopt, or whether to adopt them at all. Washington Post, "Shot in the back: When can police fire on fleeing suspects?," 28 June 2018 Instead, banks would have leeway to conclude that their trades comply with the rule, putting the onus on regulators to challenge such judgments, the people said. Jesse Hamilton, Philly.com, "Volcker Rule rewrite is said to drop key trading burden on banks," 15 May 2018 Agencies that have broadened their supply portfolio through recycling or other means would have greater leeway to use their water even in dry conditions. Dale Kasler And Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Why your water provider is fighting California's ban on watering sidewalks | The Sacramento Bee," 15 Mar. 2018 But Trump and his guests also exaggerated the breadth of the measure Brown signed last year after demanding changes from legislators that gave greater leeway for cooperation. Noah Bierman, latimes.com, "Trump meets with like-minded California 'sanctuary' foes and says Oakland's mayor should be investigated," 16 May 2018 This could give the boss some leeway for the poor performances. SI.com, "Leicester City Are at a Crossroads With Claude Puel But the Owners Deserve the Backing of Fans," 8 May 2018

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 1a

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Statistics for leeway

Last Updated

16 Apr 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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an enemy or opponent

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