1

way

noun \ ˈwā \

Definition of way

1 a :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
3 a :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 operations
  • Current 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
4 a :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
5 a :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
8 a :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
10 a 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 equipment
  • Forbes
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
2 a :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

Examples of way in a Sentence

  1. We'll try doing it your way first.

  2. Let me explain it this way.

  3. You can pay for your purchase in one of two ways: by cash or by credit card.

  4. Which door is the way in?

  5. The back way was blocked.

  6. This door is the only way out of the room.

Recent Examples of way from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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

2

way

adjective

Definition of way

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

First Known Use of way

1836


3

way

adverb

Definition of way

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 1
  • way cool
  • way excited
2 :all the way
  • pull the switch way back
from way back
:of long standing
  • friends from way back

Examples of way in a Sentence

  1. He is way ahead of the other runners.

  2. They live way out in the country.

  3. We sat way back in the last row.

  4. I missed a week of class and fell way behind.

  5. Your parents are way cool.

Recent Examples of way from the Web

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

1833


WAY Defined for English Language Learners

way

noun

Definition of way for English Language Learners

  • : 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.


way

adverb

Definition of way for English Language Learners

  • : to a great distance or extent : very far

  • : by a great amount


WAY Defined for Kids

1

way

noun \ ˈwā \

Definition of way for Students

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 :1state 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 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.

2

way

adverb

Definition of way for Students

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


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