- extra time, space, materials, or the like, within which to operate; margin: With ten minutes' leeway we can catch the train.
- a degree of freedom of action or thought: His instructions gave us plenty of leeway.
- Also called sag. Nautical. the amount or angle of the drift of a ship to leeward from its heading.
- Aeronautics. the amount a plane is blown off its normal course by cross winds.
Origin of leeway
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. latitude, flexibility, cushion.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for leeway
Charter schools have leeway over their calendar, curriculum, and who they hire and fire.At This Creepy Libertarian Charter School, Kids Must Swear ‘to Be Obedient to Those in Authority’
October 15, 2014
Federal judges are afforded a great deal of leeway by the legal system due to the difficulty of removing them from office.The Ray Rice of Judges May Keep His Job
September 11, 2014
Now that the world is set, it gives us some leeway to have fun with the story and characters.Guillermo del Toro on Hardcore Gothic ‘Crimson Peak’ and ‘Pacific Rim 2’
July 17, 2014
The results could be a gravely weakened Rouhani, stripped of the leeway in talks that he currently enjoys.Why Now is Not the Time for New Sanctions on Iran
November 5, 2013
And the United States, in particular, gives its elected officials a tremendous amount of leeway and influence, if they want it.Voting for Slavery? Jim Wheeler Gets Into Hot Water
October 30, 2013
"She's makin' leeway the best I can do," came back from Skipper Zeb.Left on the Labrador
The plan of the scale is such as to warrant this amount of leeway.The Measurement of Intelligence
Lewis Madison Terman
Leeway on the starboard tack is the same as westerly Variation.Lectures in Navigation
Ernest Gallaudet Draper
Once let them see you mean to give them any leeway, and they are only content with a revolution.Joyce's Investments
Fannie E. Newberry
He gives it leeway as usual; he's used to passing it close because there's plenty of water.Smugglers' Reef
- room for free movement within limits, as in action or expenditure
- sideways drift of a boat or aircraft
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
Word Origin and History for leeway
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper