shun·​pike | \ ˈshən-ˌpīk How to pronounce shunpike (audio) \

Definition of shunpike

: a side road used to avoid the toll on or the speed and traffic of a superhighway

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Other Words from shunpike

shunpiker \ ˈshən-​ˌpī-​kər How to pronounce shunpiker (audio) \ noun
shunpiking \ ˈshən-​ˌpī-​kiŋ How to pronounce shunpiking (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

America's love affair with the automobile and the development of a national system of superhighways (along with the occasional desire to seek out paths less-traveled) is a story belonging to the 20th century. So the word shunpike, too, must be a 20th-century phenomenon, right? Nope. Toll roads have actually existed for centuries (the word turnpike has meant "tollgate" since at least 1678). In fact, toll roads were quite common in 19th-century America, and "shunpike" has been describing side roads since the middle of that century, almost half a century before the first Model T rolled out of the factory.

First Known Use of shunpike

1804, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of shunpike was in 1804

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Cite this Entry

“Shunpike.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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