thor·​ough·​fare | \ ˈthər-ə-ˌfer , ˈthə-rə-\

Definition of thoroughfare

1 : a way or place for passage: such as
a : a street open at both ends
b : a main road
b : the conditions necessary for passing through

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of thoroughfare in a Sentence

one of the city's main thoroughfares

Recent Examples on the Web

For years, residents have fought to keep the narrow dirt road, which was a critical thoroughfare before the Civil War, from losing its historic character. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Facebook’s Hard Fall Shows the Pitfalls of Big Data," 28 July 2018 Known as Hunter Valley Station, the ranch is the only thoroughfare to Hawea Conservation Park. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Here's What Matt Lauer Is Doing Now," 24 July 2018 Stores, banks, and businesses on high-end thoroughfares that boarded up their windows on Friday nights as though preparing for wartime are no longer doing so—and are now hoping that the season’s sales will make up for the preholiday closures. Amy Verner, Vogue, "First Dior Men, Now Thom Browne—The Gilets Jaunes Are Impacting the Fall ’19 Paris Men’s Shows," 9 Jan. 2019 Like trash cans on major thoroughfares, bike share was not a recreational pastime but a public utility. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Let’s organize the city outside our front door with as much care as we do our homes," 30 Aug. 2018 Russian forces without identifying insignia, along with military vehicles, began to appear on the thoroughfares of Crimea, home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "Stuck in Soccer Limbo, in the Shadow of the World Cup," 2 July 2018 Traffic moves fast on suburban thoroughfares, and few streets have designated bike lanes. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Electric scooters in suburbs? Not gonna happen.," 29 June 2018 Now two corner residential sites that long had prosaic addresses on commercial thoroughfares—John Street and Fulton Street—have been reinvented with the poetry of a Dutch Street address. Josh Barbanel, WSJ, "Developers of a Forgotten New York Alley Leverage History in Residential Influx," 13 June 2018 Kaminski would stop to help move cars that had flooded on main thoroughfares, clearing the roadways for emergency vehicles. Lindsay Peyton, Houston Chronicle, "A Rosenberg man and his off-road rock crawler rescue flooded families," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thoroughfare.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of thoroughfare

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thoroughfare

Share thoroughfare

Statistics for thoroughfare

Last Updated

2 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thoroughfare

The first known use of thoroughfare was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for thoroughfare



English Language Learners Definition of thoroughfare

: a main road


thor·​ough·​fare | \ ˈthər-ō-ˌfer \

Kids Definition of thoroughfare

1 : a street or road open at both ends
2 : a main road

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on thoroughfare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thoroughfare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thoroughfare

Spanish Central: Translation of thoroughfare

Nglish: Translation of thoroughfare for Spanish Speakers

Comments on thoroughfare

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


the perfect form or example of something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!