Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[rohd] /roʊd/
a long, narrow stretch with a smoothed or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, etc., between two or more points; street or highway.
a way or course:
the road to peace.
Often, roads. Also called roadstead. Nautical. a partly sheltered area of water near a shore in which vessels may ride at anchor.
Mining. any tunnel in a mine used for hauling.
the road, the places, usually outside of New York City, at which theatrical companies on tour generally give performances.
burn up the road, Slang. to drive or move very fast.
down the road, in the future:
Economists see higher interest rates down the road.
hit the road, Slang. to begin or resume traveling:
We hit the road before sunrise.
one for the road, a final alcoholic drink taken just before departing from a party, tavern, or the like.
on the road,
  1. traveling, especially as a sales representative.
  2. on tour, as a theatrical company:
    The musical ends its New York run next week to go on the road.
  3. started; under way:
    We need funds to get the project on the road.
take to the road, to begin a journey or tour.
Also, take the road.
Origin of road
before 900; Middle English rode, earlier rade, Old English rād a riding, journey on horseback, akin to rīdan to ride
Related forms
roadless, adjective
roadlessness, noun
interroad, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for road
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A bell had been tinkling nearer and nearer on the road ahead.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "You are rather inscrutable," he said, as they resumed the road.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • When they met Fish in the road they stepped aside and said "Good morning, sir."

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • The Surveyor-General and a party accompanied us for some distance along the road.

  • And she stood alert at the side of the road, looking at Andrew like a queen.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
British Dictionary definitions for road


  1. an open way, usually surfaced with asphalt or concrete, providing passage from one place to another
  2. (as modifier): road traffic, a road map, a road sign
  3. (in combination): the roadside
  1. a street
  2. (capital when part of a name): London Road
  1. (US) short for railroad
  2. (Brit) one of the tracks of a railway
a way, path, or course: the road to fame
(often pl) (nautical) Also called roadstead. a partly sheltered anchorage
a drift or tunnel in a mine, esp a level one
(slang) hit the road, to start or resume travelling
on the road
  1. travelling, esp as a salesman
  2. (of a theatre company, pop group, etc) on tour
  3. leading a wandering life
take the road, take to the road, to begin a journey or tour
(informal) one for the road, a last alcoholic drink before leaving
Derived Forms
roadless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English rād; related to rīdan to ride, and to Old Saxon rēda, Old Norse reith
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for road

Old English rad "riding expedition, journey, hostile incursion," from Proto-Germanic *raido (cf. Old Frisian red "ride," Old Saxon reda, Middle Dutch rede, Old High German reita "foray, raid"), from PIE *reidh- "to ride" (see ride (v.)). Also related to raid (n.). In Middle English, "a riding, a journey;" sense of "open way for traveling between two places" is first recorded 1590s. Meaning "narrow stretch of sheltered water" is from early 14c. (e.g. Hampton Roads in Virginia).

Modern spelling established 18c. In 19c. U.S. use, often meaning "railroad." On the road "travelling" is from 1640s. Road test (n.) is from 1906; as a verb from 1937. Road hog is attested from 1886; road rage is from 1988. Road map is from 1786; road trip is by 1950, originally of baseball teams.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for road



Traveling; touring, itinerant: a road show (1900+ Theater)

Related Terms

go the hang-put road, hard-road freak, hit the road, let's get the show on the road, one for the road, on the road, skid road, where the rubber meets the road, wide place in the road

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with road
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for road

Difficulty index for road

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for road

Scrabble Words With Friends