\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Most minivans are either as overtly child-centric as a BabyBjörn, or festooned with SUV-style hoods and grilles, because in this particular cartoon universe SUVs are recognized as cool, capable vehicles on their way to the Avengers’ clubhouse. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "2022 Kia Carnival has loads of space, SUV looks — and one oddball feature (review)," 17 Apr. 2021 Trying to find your way to the Studio Tour ride at Universal Studios Hollywood? Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, "Apps help theme parks boost their COVID safety — and collect data on you," 17 Apr. 2021 Further down the ranking, several other new cuts waste no time in making their way to the chart, with one earning a specific and nice spot in the history books by appearing on the tally for even one frame. Hugh Mcintyre, Forbes, "BTS, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato And Bruno Mars: 5 Songs Making Moves On The Hot 100," 17 Apr. 2021 The bill will head back to the upper chamber for possible changes before making its way to the governor’s desk by month’s end. Robert Davis, Washington Examiner, "Colorado House approves state budget," 16 Apr. 2021 But Blackhawk Christian also defeated 15 opponents in 3A, 4A or out of state on its way to compiling a 28-3 record. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "2021 IndyStar Mr. Basketball: Caleb Furst of Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian," 16 Apr. 2021 Avery spies the protestors on his way in but figures the hospital needs him more. Lincee Ray, EW.com, "Grey's Anatomy recap: Police brutality and racial profiling take center stage," 16 Apr. 2021 The relief corps is one of the team’s weakest areas, particularly without setup man Seth Lugo, who is on his way back from right elbow/bone spur surgery. Deesha Thosar, courant.com, "Snow leads to another Mets postponement," 16 Apr. 2021 General Motors plans to offer 30 new EVs by 2025 on its way to an all-electric future, including the $112,000 GMC Hummer EV pickup due out in the fall. Robert Channick, chicagotribune.com, "Rivian plant gearing up for June launch, the return of automaking to Normal and the dawn of the electric vehicle age," 16 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Instead, Simpson donned protective gear and arranged a multi-way video call on her cellphone from Alvarado’s room. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "‘We’re all fearful of what could happen’: COVID deaths rise in San Antonio as hospitals are pushed to capacity," 12 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Nineteen years is enough, in fact, far too much and way too long. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, "Trump blasts Biden for Sept. 11 troop withdrawal and says, 'We can and should get out earlier'," 18 Apr. 2021 He got hit way too often in 2020 and Sewell is a guy who could be his blindside protector for a long time. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "What signing Jadeveon Clowney might mean for the Browns’ draft plans: 2021 NFL mock draft 7.0," 16 Apr. 2021 But now that everything is open, and everyone has learned to shop online, business is way down. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Pioneer Hardware is one of the last reminders that Beverly Hills is more than just a glitzy ZIP Code," 15 Apr. 2021 Near the end of the interview Teague, who is listed as the dealership's general manager on its website, went way off-script. Matt Young, Chron, "Waco car dealer offers Jeep so Baylor can recruit players 'out of the hood'," 14 Apr. 2021 For Texas Tech fans anticipating a first round selection similar to Jordyn Brooks in 2020: wait until 2022, according to way too early mock drafts. Dallas News, "Texas Tech mock draft round up: Jack Anderson and T.J. Vasher headline Red Raiders who could hear their names called," 13 Apr. 2021 However, exports are still way down compared with a year ago—notably, the rebound was led by non-perishable items, and exporters of goods such as fresh foods are still struggling. David Meyer, Fortune, "The problem with Coinbase’s valuation," 13 Apr. 2021 Last April, May, even into June, arrests were way down, and there just was not a lot of business going on out in the state of Connecticut. Zach Murdock, courant.com, "Clobbered by COVID-19, Connecticut courts are ramping back up to speed with new virtual hearing technology," 12 Apr. 2021 Now, Scientific American, Columbia Journalism Review, the Nation, the Guardian, Noticias Telemundo, Al Jazeera, Asahi Shimbun and La Repubblica: The planet is heating up way too fast. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, "We Are Living in a Climate Emergency, and We’re Going to Say So," 12 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for way

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for way

Last Updated

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Way.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/way. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for way



English Language Learners Definition of way

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: how someone or something does something : how someone or something behaves, appears, feels, etc.
: a method or system that can be used to do something
: a person's usual habits, actions, qualities, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of way (Entry 2 of 2)

: to a great distance or extent : very far
: by a great amount


\ 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on way

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for way

Nglish: Translation of way for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of way for Arabic Speakers

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