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
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

His parents were Italian immigrants: His father, Ralph, was a mechanic who worked in the New York City subways, and his mother, Margaret (Calabrese) Naimoli, was a homemaker. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Vince Naimoli, 81, Dies; Brought Major League Baseball to Tampa," 30 Aug. 2019 Our treat was riding the open-air monorail subway back and forth to the Senate Office Building, savoring the tunnel’s subterranean wind. Lance Morrow, National Review, "Washington, D.C.: My Boyhood Olympus," 22 Aug. 2019 In 2011, he was spotted not only riding the subway like mere mortals but giving up his seat. Aja Romano, Vox, "Keanu Reeves, explained," 16 Aug. 2019 The New York City subway’s new OMNY tap-to-pay system supports Apple Pay on the iPhone and Apple Watch, as well as devices with Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "End of the Wallet: Phone-Based Driver’s Licenses and MetroCards Are Put to the Test," 27 June 2019 Even things like riding the subway or bunking in an apartment gives suburban kids an insider look at a different kind of routine. National Geographic, "Culture club," 17 June 2019 The gaming giant even constructed a fake Chinatown not far from the real Chinatown, complete with theme park-like projections creating mock building facades and areas made to look like New York City subways. Todd Martens,, "Insomniac Games celebrates the underdog with optimism, from ‘Ratchet and Clank’ to ‘Spider-Man’," 16 June 2018 In recent weeks, demonstrators have shut down the city’s subway trains and the international airport with organized rallies. Time, "Chinese State Media Warns of Intervention as Hong Kong Protests Turn Violent," 26 Aug. 2019 Two terrorists killed 33 people at an airport and subway station in Brussels with bombs. Clayton E. Cramer, National Review, "Mass Murder without Guns," 7 Aug. 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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Statistics for subway

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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

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

Comments on subway

What made you want to look up subway? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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