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[fair-wey] /ˈfɛərˌweɪ/
an unobstructed passage, way, or area.
  1. the part of the course where the grass is cut short between the tees and the putting greens, exclusive of the rough, trees, and hazards:
    More important than long drives is keeping your ball on the fairway.
  2. the mowed part of any hole between the tee and the green:
    The foursome is now on the tenth fairway.
  1. the navigable portion of a river, harbor, or other partly enclosed body of water.
  2. the channel customarily navigated by vessels in such a body of water.
Origin of fairway
1515-25; 1905-10 for def 2; fair1 + way1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fairway
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They stood in the fairway of passengers, and their faces were extremely grave.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • Then I had to look at the river mighty quick, because there was a snag in the fairway.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • You will also notice that this fairway is an important trade route.

    From Pole to Pole

    Sven Anders Hedin
  • When I found she was being courted it was like hitting a rock in a fairway.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Thomas had got out of the fairway in one, but he still seemed unhappy.

    Happy Days Alan Alexander Milne
  • With Lily beside him, he gained the level ground of the fairway.

    Lady Luck Hugh Wiley
  • Though near the top of the flood, the fairway could not be made out.

    Old Junk H. M. Tomlinson
  • He asked the captain to move a little as, so he said, they were in the fairway.

    The American Egypt Channing Arnold
British Dictionary definitions for fairway


(on a golf course) the areas of shorter grass between the tees and greens, esp the avenue approaching a green bordered by rough
  1. the navigable part of a river, harbour, etc
  2. the customary course followed by vessels
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fairway

1580s, "navigational channel of a river," from fair (adj.) + way (n.). Golfing sense is from 1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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