[ belt-wey ]
/ ˈbɛltˌweɪ /


Also called belt highway. a highway around the perimeter of an urban area.
the Beltway, the Washington, D.C., area within the highway that encircles it.

Nearby words

  1. beltrami,
  2. beltrami, eugenio,
  3. beltsville,
  4. beltsville small white,
  5. beltsy,
  6. beluga,
  7. belukha,
  8. belvedere,
  9. belvidere,
  10. belvoir castle

Origin of beltway

First recorded in 1950–55; belt + way1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beltway

British Dictionary definitions for beltway


/ (ˈbɛltˌweɪ) /


the usual US name for a ring road
(usually with capital)
  1. the people and institutions located in the area bounded by the Washington Beltway, taken to be politically and socially out of touch with the rest of America and much given to political intrigue
  2. (as modifier)Beltway Cassandras
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 beltway



term in U.S. for a ring highway around an urban area, especially Interstate 495 around Washington, D.C., the Capital Beltway, completed 1964. Figurative for "Washington, D.C., and its culture" for better or worse, since c.1978.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper