way

noun
\ ˈwā \

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

way

adjective

Definition of way (Entry 2 of 3)

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

way

adverb

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

Noun

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

Beyond supervised consumption sites, the RAND report indicated that there are other ways to encourage supervision. German Lopez, Vox, "A big, new review of the evidence finds that prescription heroin works," 6 Dec. 2018 Of course, there is no way a slug could survive inside the human stomach. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "A history of body horrors from distended scrotums to exploding teeth," 6 Dec. 2018 If your laptop-needy recipient won’t accept Windows and needs a high-end notebook for years to come, the 15-inch MacBook Pro is the way to go. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the power user in your life," 4 Dec. 2018 But anything resembling blonde was still a ways off — and that's a good thing. Marci Robin, Allure, "This Super-Long Ombré Hair Transformation Is a Feat of Color-Correction Magic," 13 Nov. 2018 Either way, many places are falling further back in the Digital Gilded Age. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "In America’s ‘geography of despair,’ how to help the left-behind places?," 21 Nov. 2018 Valuing all bodies means looking beyond our attraction (or lack thereof) and respecting them, and their owners, either way. Nora Whelan, SELF, "Believing Women Means Believing the Plus-Size Ones, Too," 21 Nov. 2018 Either way, the Wet/Dry sack accessory will prove useful for keeping the wet and dry stuff separated after a day on the water or snow. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "‘The world’s most versatile waterproof backpack’ review," 20 Nov. 2018 But, when work commitments got in the way of things, he was forced to improvise and ended up proposing in their living room instead. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Who is Karl Glusman? Zoë Kravtiz Confirms She's Been Secretly Engaged to the Actor For Months," 30 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

These days, everyone’s prices are way more transparent. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "U.S. retailers hope higher pay will buy more efficient workers," 1 Jan. 2019 The more famed Red Sand Beach and Perissa Black Sand Beach are great spots to stop on a sailing tour, but way too crowded to post up for a day. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Where to Go, Where to Eat, and What to See at Instagram's Favorite Destination," 21 Dec. 2018 There are also third-party apps that can make your phone way less appealing. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "How to detox from your smartphone with these apps and gadgets," 29 Nov. 2018 The hotel setting makes Wake Up Call very different from the sweaty, muddy experience of a musical festival—and to me, that was way more appealing. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "This Is What Actually Goes Down at a Fitness Festival," 27 Oct. 2018 In turn, net foreign-exchange sales by Chinese banks are way down from their level when property prices were falling in 2015. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Seven Is No Magic Number for the Yuan," 26 Oct. 2018 Last year there were over 215,000 rhinoplasty procedures in the U.S., which is slightly down from the year before and way down from just a decade ago. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Nose Job Before and After Is Wild," 29 Aug. 2018 Off set, life is way more fun: Cookouts, party playlists, and abstract art. Molly Fitzpatrick, Marie Claire, "Get to Know 'The First Purge' Star Lex Scott Davis," 1 Aug. 2018 Through all their ups and downs, from job insecurity to dating disasters to negotiating for higher pay, the crew stays tight and their friendship is always way more important than drama of the work or relationship variety. Rachel Mosely, Seventeen, "The Stars of "The Bold Type" Talk Living Like a Boss," 16 July 2018

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

Noun

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

Adjective

1836, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for way

Noun

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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Learn More about way

Statistics for way

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for way

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

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More Definitions for way

way

noun

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.

way

adverb

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

: to a great distance or extent : very far

: by a great amount

way

noun
\ ˈwā \

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.

way

adverb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with way

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for way

Spanish Central: Translation of way

Nglish: Translation of way for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of way for Arabic Speakers

Comments on way

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