shunpike

play
noun shun·pike \ˈshən-ˌpīk\

Definition of shunpike

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

shunpiker

play \ˈshən-ˌpī-kər\ noun

shunpiking

play \ˈshən-ˌpī-kiŋ\ noun

shunpike was our Word of the Day on 02/27/2017. Hear the podcast!

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.

1804

First Known Use of shunpike

1804

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capable of being altered or controlled

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