a secluded, private, or obscure road.
a subsidiary or obscure field of research, endeavor, etc.

Origin of byway

1300–50; Middle English bywey. See by1 (adj.), way1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for byway

Historical Examples of byway

  • One evening, in a byway where he was watching for her, Margot at last raised her hand.

  • Robbie had turned into a byway that bore the name of King's Arms Lane.

  • It meant that he knew every trail and byway for miles about Temple Camp.

    Tom Slade with the Colors

    Percy K. Fitzhugh

  • The street might have been a byway in old Pompeii for all the life that moved within it.

    The Life of the Party

    Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

  • It is a vile road, and I must take the byway through the forest.

    The Golden Dog

    William Kirby

British Dictionary definitions for byway



a secondary or side road, esp in the country
an area, field of study, etc, that is very obscure or of secondary importance
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 byway

mid-14c., from by + way (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper