sub·​way | \ˈsəb-ˌwā \

Definition of subway 

: an underground way: such as

a : a passage under a street (as for pedestrians, power cables, or water or gas mains)

b : a usually electric underground railway

c : underpass

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Other Words from subway

subway intransitive verb

Examples of subway in a Sentence

I took the subway to midtown. No one on the subway seemed to mind how crowded it was. I've been on both the New York subway and the Underground in London.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The government said that the train and subway systems in Buenos Aires will be closed during the meeting, and authorities will cordon off a wide area near where the summit will be held. Almudena Calatrava, The Seattle Times, "Security concerns arise as Argentina hosts G-20," 27 Nov. 2018 But critics said the deal doesn’t commit Amazon to helping with improvements to the city’s deteriorating subway system, which is run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. WSJ, "Critics Say Amazon’s HQ2 Deal Shortchanges New Yorkers," 13 Nov. 2018 New York’s subway system can hardly handle the strain of the city’s existing population. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Amazon HQ2: the many layers of backlash against the company’s expansion, explained," 6 Nov. 2018 Nixon said, adding that the government should fix the state’s problems with healthcare, mass incarceration and the subway system. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "'Sex and the City' star Cynthia Nixon could be New York's next governor: A look at her political activism," 13 Sep. 2018 Laga and his team have the daunting task of keeping New York City’s massive subway system dry in the event of another cataclysmic storm. William Poor, The Verge, "How New York is prepping for the next superstorm, six years after Hurricane Sandy," 24 July 2018 Grab a greasy subway pole and then handle your phone, and your device is going to be smeared with whatever germs your hands just picked up from previous passengers. Markham Heid, Time, "How Often Should I Clean My Phone?," 13 June 2018 For the subway and buses, board members were presented with two options. Paul Berger, WSJ, "MTA Proposes Raising Fares on Subway, Buses and Rails," 15 Nov. 2018 On Tuesday, a subway escalator in Rome hurtled soccer fans downward as several metal plates collapsed, causing 20 injuries including a severed foot. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Escalators at UW light-rail station keep breaking down; Sound Transit will improve them — and open a staircase," 26 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subway.' 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 subway

1822, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for subway

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for subway

The first known use of subway was in 1822

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More Definitions for subway



English Language Learners Definition of subway

: a system of underground trains in a city

: a road or passage for walking under a road, set of railroad tracks, etc.


sub·​way | \ˈsəb-ˌwā \

Kids Definition of subway

: a usually electric underground railway

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More from Merriam-Webster on subway

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subway

Spanish Central: Translation of subway

Nglish: Translation of subway for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subway for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about subway

Comments on subway

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