or by-pass

[ bahy-pas, -pahs ]
See synonyms for: bypassbypassingbypast on

  1. a road enabling motorists to avoid a city or other heavy traffic points or to drive around an obstruction.

  2. a secondary pipe or other channel connected with a main passage, as for conducting a liquid or gas around a fixture, pipe, or appliance.

  1. Electricity. shunt (def. 9).

  2. a surgical procedure in which a diseased or obstructed hollow organ is temporarily or permanently circumvented.: Compare coronary bypass, gastric bypass, heart-lung machine, intestinal bypass.

verb (used with object),by·passed or (Rare) by·past; by·passed or by·past; by·pass·ing.
  1. to avoid (an obstruction, city, etc.) by following a bypass.

  2. to cause (fluid or gas) to follow a secondary pipe or bypass.

  1. to neglect to consult or to ignore the opinion or decision of: He bypassed the foreman and took his grievance straight to the owner.

Origin of bypass

1840–50; apparently back formation from by-passage;see by (adj.), passage1

Other words from bypass

  • bypasser, by-passer, noun

Words Nearby bypass Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bypass in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bypass


/ (ˈbaɪˌpɑːs) /

  1. a main road built to avoid a city or other congested area

  2. any system of pipes or conduits for redirecting the flow of a liquid

  1. a means of redirecting the flow of a substance around an appliance through which it would otherwise pass

  2. surgery

    • the redirection of blood flow, either to avoid a diseased blood vessel or in order to perform heart surgery: See coronary bypass

    • (as modifier): bypass surgery

  3. electronics

    • an electrical circuit, esp one containing a capacitor, connected in parallel around one or more components, providing an alternative path for certain frequencies

    • (as modifier): a bypass capacitor

verb-passes, -passing, -passed or -past (tr)
  1. to go around or avoid (a city, obstruction, problem, etc)

  2. to cause (traffic, fluid, etc) to go through a bypass

  1. to proceed without reference to (regulations, a superior, etc); get round; avoid

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

Scientific definitions for bypass


[ păs′ ]

  1. A passage created surgically to divert the flow of blood or other bodily fluid or to circumvent an obstructed or diseased organ.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.