sub·​way | \ ˈsəb-ˌwā How to pronounce subway (audio) \

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

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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 homeless crisis is visible on street corners and in subway cars. New York Times, "After Six Years in Office, New York’s Mayor Vows to ‘Save Our City’," 6 Feb. 2020 Daniloff recalls meeting Luzin at the Leninsky Prospekt subway station in Moscow. Kristen Jordan Shamus,, "Accused spy Paul Whelan would not be first American set up by Russians," 22 Jan. 2020 Women’s safety concerns have spurred interventions including women-only subway cars and buses, enhanced complaint filing processes, and security cameras. Flavie Halais, Wired, "Making Public Transit Fairer to Women Demands Way More Data," 21 Jan. 2020 Over four years ago, a video of a rat casually descending the stairs of a New York City subway station with an entire slice of pizza sent the Internet wild with jokes and memes galore. Katie Intner,, "Bruce Willis Wears $395 Sweater Featuring the Viral Internet Sensation Pizza Rat," 17 Jan. 2020 Quickly observing that a New York City subway car is empty on a relatively crowded train can save you from a malodorous ride. NBC News, "How to use nunchi, a Korean 'superpower,' to achieve your New Year's resolutions," 6 Jan. 2020 The Red Line, which has even older subway cars, is also due for a full fleet replacement by the end of 2023., "National Defense Authorization Act," 13 Dec. 2019 Looping through subway cars and train platforms, the show typified a fluid urban grit. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Moschino Takes Pre-Fall 2020 and Fall 2020 Collections to NYC's Subway," 11 Dec. 2019 Dozens had gathered there to mark three months since police stormed a subway car in the area and hit passengers with batons and pepper spray. Eileen Ng,, "Young and old unite behind demands of Hong Kong demonstrators," 30 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for subway

Time Traveler

The first known use of subway was in 1822

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Statistics for subway

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for subway


How to pronounce subway (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of subway

chiefly US : a system of underground trains in a city
British : a road or passage for walking under a road, set of railroad tracks, etc.


sub·​way | \ ˈsəb-ˌwā How to pronounce subway (audio) \

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

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