shunpike

noun

shun·​pike ˈshən-ˌpīk How to pronounce shunpike (audio)
: a side road used to avoid the toll on or the speed and traffic of a superhighway
shunpiker noun
shunpiking 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 existed for centuries (the word turnpike has meant "tollgate" since at least 1678), and were quite common in 19th-century America. 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.

Word History

First Known Use

1804, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shunpike was in 1804

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Cite this Entry

“Shunpike.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shunpike. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

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