[aw-tuh-bahn; German ou-taw-bahn]

noun, plural au·to·bahns, German au·to·bahn·en [ou-taw-bah-nuh n] /ˈaʊ tɔˌbɑ nən/.

(in Germany and Austria) a superhighway; expressway.

Origin of autobahn

1935–40; < German, equivalent to Auto auto + Bahn road, way Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for autobahn

Contemporary Examples of autobahn

  • After two hours, we exited the autobahn onto an old and broken road.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Fourth War: My Lunch with a Jihadi

    Elliot Ackerman

    January 21, 2014

  • The Accident concerns a mysterious crash on the Vienna autobahn, in which a young couple is ejected from a taxi.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Great Weekend Reads

    The Daily Beast

    February 4, 2011

British Dictionary definitions for autobahn



a motorway in German-speaking countries

Word Origin for autobahn

from German, from Auto car + Bahn road
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 autobahn

1937, German, from auto "motor car, automobile" + bahn "path, road," from Middle High German ban, bane "way, road," literally "strike" (as a swath cut through), from PIE *gwhen- "to strike, kill" (see bane).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper