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leeway

[lee-wey] /ˈliˌweɪ/
noun
1.
extra time, space, materials, or the like, within which to operate; margin:
With ten minutes' leeway we can catch the train.
2.
a degree of freedom of action or thought:
His instructions gave us plenty of leeway.
3.
Also called sag. Nautical. the amount or angle of the drift of a ship to leeward from its heading.
4.
Aeronautics. the amount a plane is blown off its normal course by cross winds.
Origin of leeway
1660-1670
First recorded in 1660-70; lee1 + way1
Synonyms
2. latitude, flexibility, cushion.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for leeway
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "She's makin' leeway the best I can do," came back from Skipper Zeb.

    Left on the Labrador Dillon Wallace
  • 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 John Blaine
British Dictionary definitions for leeway

leeway

/ˈliːˌweɪ/
noun
1.
room for free movement within limits, as in action or expenditure
2.
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
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Word Origin and History for leeway
n.

1660s, sideways drift of a ship caused by wind, from lee + way. Figurative meaning "extra space" is by 1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
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