\ ˈwā How to pronounce way (audio) \

Definition of way

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a thoroughfare for travel or transportation from place to place
b : an opening for passage this door is the only way out of the room
2 : the course traveled from one place to another : route asked the way to the museum
3a : a course (such as a series of actions or sequence of events) leading in a direction or toward an objective led the way to eventual open heart operationsCurrent Biography
b(1) : a course of action took the easy way out
(2) : opportunity, capability, or fact of doing as one pleases always manages to get her own way
c : a possible decision, action, or outcome : possibility they were rude—no two ways about it
4a : manner or method of doing or happening admired her way of thinking also : method of accomplishing : means that's the way to do it
b : feature, respect in no way resembles her mother
c : a usually specified degree of participation in an activity or enterprise active in real estate in a small way
5a : characteristic, regular, or habitual manner or mode of being, behaving, or happening knows nothing of the ways of women
b : ability to get along well or perform well she has a way with kids a way with words
6 : the length of a course : distance has come a long way in her studies still have a way to go
7 : movement or progress along a course worked her way up the corporate ladder
8a : direction is coming this way
b : participant usually used in combination three-way discussion
9 : state of affairs : condition, state that's the way things are
10a ways plural in form but sometimes singular in construction : an inclined structure upon which a ship is built or supported in launching
b ways plural : the guiding surfaces on the bed of a machine along which a table or carriage moves
11 : category, kind usually used in the phrase in the way of doesn't require much in the way of expensive equipmentForbes
12 : motion or speed of a ship or boat through the water
all the way
: to the full or entire extent : as far as possible ran all the way home seated all the way in the back
by the way
: by way of interjection or digression : incidentally
by way of
1 : for the purpose of
2 : by the route through : via
in a way
1 : within limits : with reservations
2 : from one point of view
in one's way or less commonly in the way
1 : in a position to be encountered by one : in or along one's course an opportunity had been put in my way— Ellen Glasgow
2 : in a position to hinder or obstruct
on the way or on one's way
: moving along in one's course : in progress
out of the way
1 : wrong, improper didn't know I'd said anything out of the way
2a : in or to a secluded place
b : unusual, remarkable there's nothing out of the way about the plan
3 : done, completed got his homework out of the way
the way
1 : in view of the manner in which you'd think she was rich, the way she spends money
2 : like, as we have cats the way other people have mice— James Thurber



Definition of way (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, connected with, or constituting an intermediate point on a route



Definition of way (Entry 3 of 3)

1 informal
a : by a long distance : to a considerable degree or extent : far is way ahead of the class sat way in the back row
b : by far : much ate way too much that's way too expensive
c : very sense 1 way cool way excited
2 : all the way pull the switch way back
from way back
: of long standing friends from way back

Choose the Right Synonym for way


method, mode, manner, way, fashion, system mean the means taken or procedure followed in achieving an end. method implies an orderly logical arrangement usually in steps. effective teaching methods mode implies an order or course followed by custom, tradition, or personal preference. the preferred mode of transportation manner is close to mode but may imply a procedure or method that is individual or distinctive. an odd manner of conducting way is very general and may be used for any of the preceding words. has her own way of doing things fashion may suggest a peculiar or characteristic way of doing something. rushing about in his typical fashion system suggests a fully developed or carefully formulated method often emphasizing rational orderliness. a filing system

Examples of way in a Sentence

Noun We'll try doing it your way first. Let me explain it this way. You can pay for your purchase in one of two ways: by cash or by credit card. Which door is the way in? The back way was blocked. This door is the only way out of the room. Adverb He is way ahead of the other runners. They live way out in the country. We sat way back in the last row. I missed a week of class and fell way behind. Your parents are way cool. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This three-piece lip set is your one-way ticket to the perfect nude lip. ELLE, 17 June 2022 Child-abuse physicians acknowledge that problems can arise with cases that lack the evidence to be decided one way or the other. Emily Bobrow, WSJ, 16 June 2022 Literature may be one way to do that by reaching new readers. Kate Tuttle, BostonGlobe.com, 16 June 2022 One way cities can better systems and increase ridership is by creating more efficient and convenient public transportation systems and services—including establishing cost-effective and intuitive ticketing solutions. Miroslav Katsarov, Forbes, 16 June 2022 The winner of Arizona's five-way Aug. 2 Republican Senate primary will face incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., in the Nov. 8 general election. The Arizona Republic, 16 June 2022 The winner of the Democratic contest will quickly start campaigning against the candidate who emerges from the four-way Republican primary held simultaneously. Steve Sadin, Chicago Tribune, 16 June 2022 One way to tackle the debt is to get a low-interest personal loan or sign up for a balance-transfer credit card. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 15 June 2022 Although Benno's has closed, the name will live on in at least one unique way. Bob Dohr, Journal Sentinel, 15 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective On its top plate there’s a brass multi-way controller incised with grooved concentric rings. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 15 June 2022 At a multi-way intersection, traffic lights and directional signage jostle for attention. Mark Rozzo, The New Yorker, 12 May 2022 Whoever wins what is shaping up to be a multi-way race will confront critical decisions on Day 1. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Jan. 2022 Instead, Simpson donned protective gear and arranged a multi-way video call on her cellphone from Alvarado’s room. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, 12 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb After all, both the Dewy Cream and the Water Cream are two industry favorites that initially put the brand on the map way back when, and their hydrating, anti-aging formulas are in a league of their own. Jennifer Chan, PEOPLE.com, 17 June 2022 But this still feels like a magnum opus for Tippett, who conceived the film way back before computer animation even properly existed. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 10 June 2022 The Ducks finished way back in the final standings, in 25th place alongside Montana State, Texas A&M, Texas-Arlington and Wisconsin. Ken Goe For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 10 June 2022 Backbase was founded way back in 2003, but this is its first institutional funding. Kevin Dowd, Forbes, 10 June 2022 The engineer wanted this speaker to succeed the Klipschorn, which had been introduced way back in 1946, but because audio technology had not yet caught up with his imagination, the concept hasn’t become a reality until now. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 5 June 2022 Of the top ten supercomputers, only China's Tianhe-2A, a version of which topped the list way back in 2013, is based on an Intel design. Michael J. Miller, PCMAG, 2 June 2022 For Léa Seydoux and her stylist, Alexandra Imgruth, the process began way back in March, a month before the films were announced. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, 27 May 2022 The hunt for talent who could mature in their roles first began for casting director Carmen Cuba way back in April 2015. Abby Dupes, Seventeen, 27 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of way


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1836, in the meaning defined above


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for way


Middle English, from Old English weg; akin to Old High German weg way, Old English wegan to move, Latin vehere to carry, via way

Learn More About way

Time Traveler for way

Time Traveler

The first known use of way was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for way

Last Updated

18 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Way.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/way. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for way


\ ˈwā How to pronounce way (audio) \

Kids Definition of way

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the manner in which something is done or happens … Nick could feel a homework assignment coming the way a farmer can feel a rainstorm.— Andrew Clements, Frindle
2 : the course traveled from one place to another : route Do you know the way to my house?
3 : a noticeable point In some ways I wish I lived closer to school.
4 : state entry 1 sense 1 That's the way things are.
5 : distance in time or space You're a long way from home. The wedding is still a long way off.
6 : a special or personal manner of behaving Being quiet is just my way.
7 : a talent for handling something He has a way with words.
8 : room to advance or pass Make way—coming through!
9 : direction sense 1 I paid full fare each way.
10 : a track for travel : path, street
11 : a course of action He chose the easy way.
12 : personal choice as to situation or behavior : wish She insists on getting her way.
13 : progress along a course I'm working my way through college.
14 : a particular place The weather has been nice out our way.
15 : category, kind I had little in the way of help.
by the way
: apart from that By the way, did you hear what happened?
by way of
1 : for the purpose of I mentioned it by way of example.
2 : by the route through We drove by way of back roads.
in someone's way also in the way
: in a position to hinder or obstruct
out of the way
1 : in or to a place away from public view
2 : done fully He got his homework out of the way.



Kids Definition of way (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : far entry 1 sense 1 The sleeves hung way down.
2 : far entry 1 sense 2 He eats way too much candy.

More from Merriam-Webster on way

Nglish: Translation of way for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of way for Arabic Speakers


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