See more synonyms for way on Thesaurus.com
  1. manner, mode, or fashion: a new way of looking at a matter; to reply in a polite way.
  2. characteristic or habitual manner: Her way is to work quietly and never complain.
  3. a method, plan, or means for attaining a goal: to find a way to reduce costs.
  4. a respect or particular: The plan is defective in several ways.
  5. a direction or vicinity: Look this way. We're having a drought out our way.
  6. passage or progress on a course: to make one's way on foot; to lead the way.
  7. Often ways. distance: They've come a long way.
  8. a path or course leading from one place to another: What's the shortest way to town?
  9. British.
    1. an old Roman or pre-Roman road: Icknield Way.
    2. a minor street in a town: He lives in Stepney Way.
  10. a road, route, passage, or channel (usually used in combination): highway; waterway; doorway.
  11. Law. a right of way.
  12. any line of passage or travel, used or available: to blaze a way through dense woods.
  13. space for passing or advancing: to clear a way through the crowd.
  14. Often ways. a habit or custom: The grandmother lived by the ways of the old country.
  15. course or mode of procedure that one chooses or wills: They had to do it my way.
  16. condition, as to health, prosperity, or the like: to be in a bad way.
  17. range or extent of experience or notice: the best device that ever came in my way.
  18. a course of life, action, or experience: The way of transgressors is hard.
  19. Informal. business: to be in the haberdashery way.
  20. Nautical.
    1. ways,two or more ground ways down which a hull slides in being launched.
    2. movement or passage through the water.
  21. Machinery. a longitudinal strip, as in a planer, guiding a moving part along a surface.
  1. by the way, in the course of one's remarks; incidentally: By the way, have you received that letter yet?
  2. by way of,
    1. by the route of; through; via.
    2. as a method or means of: to number articles by way of distinguishing them.
    3. British.in the state or position of (being, doing, etc.); ostensibly: He is by way of being an authority on the subject.
  3. come one's way, to come to one; befall one: A bit of good fortune came my way.
  4. give way,
    1. to withdraw or retreat: The army gave way before the advance of the enemy.
    2. to collapse; yield; break down: You will surely give way under the strain of overwork.
  5. give way to,
    1. to yield to: He gave way to their entreaties.
    2. to become unrestrained or uninhibited; lose control of (one's temper, emotions, etc.): I gave way to my rage and ordered them from the house.
  6. go all the way, Slang.
    1. to do completely or wholeheartedly.
    2. to take a decisive action, especially one from which no retreat is possible: Neither side wants to go all the way with nuclear warfare.
    3. to engage in sexual intercourse.
  7. go out of one's way, to do something that inconveniences one; make an unusual effort: Please don't go out of your way on my account.
  8. have a way with, to have a charming, persuasive, or effective manner of dealing with: He has a way with children; to have a way with words.
  9. have one's way with, (especially of a man) to have sexual intercourse with, sometimes by intimidating or forcing one's partner.
  10. in a family way, pregnant.
  11. in a way, after a fashion; to some extent: In a way, she's the nicest person I know.
  12. in someone's way, forming a hindrance, impediment, or obstruction: She might have succeeded in her ambition, had not circumstances been in her way.Also in the way.
  13. lead the way,
    1. to go along a course in advance of others, as a guide.
    2. to take the initiative; be first or most prominent: In fashion she has always led the way.
  14. make one's way,
    1. to go forward; proceed: to make one's way through the mud.
    2. to achieve recognition or success; advance: to make one's way in the world.
  15. make way,
    1. to allow to pass; clear the way: Make way for the king!
    2. to relinquish to another; withdraw: He resigned to make way for a younger man.
    3. Nautical.to make forward or astern progress even though engines are not running.
  16. no way, Informal. not under any circumstances; no: Apologize to him? No way!
  17. out of the way,
    1. in a state or condition so as not to obstruct or hinder.
    2. dealt with; disposed of: I feel better, now that one problem is out of the way.
    3. murdered: to have a person put out of the way.
    4. out of the frequented way; at a distance from the usual route.
    5. improper; amiss: There was something decidedly out of the way about her explanation.
    6. extraordinary; unusual: Such behavior was out of the way for him.
  18. pave the way to/for. pave(def 3).
  19. see one's way clear, to regard as suitable or possible; consider seriously: We couldn't see our way clear to spending so much money at once.Also see one's way.
  20. take one's way, to start out; travel; go: He took his way across the park and headed uptown.

Origin of way

before 900; Middle English wei(gh)e, wai, Old English weg; cognate with Dutch, German Weg, Old Norse vegr, Gothic wigs; akin to Latin vehere to carry
Related formsway·less, adjective
Can be confusedway weigh weight

Synonyms for way

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
3. scheme, device. See method. 4. detail, part. 7. space, interval. 10. track. 14. usage, practice, wont.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for go all the way


  1. a manner, method, or meansa way of life; a way of knowing
  2. a route or directionthe way home
    1. a means or line of passage, such as a path or track
    2. (in combination)waterway
  3. space or room for movement or activity (esp in the phrases make way, in the way, out of the way)
  4. distance, usually distance in generalyou've come a long way
  5. a passage or journeyon the way
  6. characteristic style or mannerI did it in my own way
  7. (often plural) habits; idiosyncrasieshe has some offensive ways
  8. an aspect of something; particularin many ways he was right
    1. a street in or leading out of a town
    2. (capital when part of a street name)Icknield Way
  9. something that one wants in a determined manner (esp in the phrases get or have one's (own) way)
  10. the experience or sphere in which one comes into contact with things (esp in the phrase come one's way)
  11. informal a state or condition, usually financial or concerning health (esp in the phrases in a good (or bad) way)
  12. informal the area or direction of one's homedrop in if you're ever over my way
  13. movement of a ship or other vessel
  14. a right of way in law
  15. a guide along which something can be moved, such as the surface of a lathe along which the tailstock slides
  16. (plural) the wooden or metal tracks down which a ship slides to be launched
  17. a course of life including experiences, conduct, etcthe way of sin
  18. archaic calling or trade
  19. by the way (sentence modifier) in passing or incidentally
  20. by way of
    1. via
    2. serving asby way of introduction
    3. in the state or condition ofby way of being an artist
  21. each way (of a bet) laid on a horse, dog, etc, to win or gain a place
  22. give way
    1. to collapse or break down
    2. to withdraw or yield
  23. give way to
    1. to step aside for or stop for
    2. to give full rein to (emotions, etc)
  24. go out of one's way to take considerable trouble or inconvenience oneself
  25. have a way with to have such a manner or skill as to handle successfully
  26. have it both ways to enjoy two things that would normally contradict each other or be mutually exclusive
  27. in a way in some respects
  28. in no way not at all
  29. lead the way
    1. to go first
    2. to set an example or precedent
  30. make one's way
    1. to proceed or advance
    2. to achieve success in life
  31. no way informal that is impossible
  32. on the way out informal
    1. becoming unfashionable, obsolete, etc
    2. dying
  33. out of the way
    1. removed or dealt with so as to be no longer a hindrance
    2. remote
    3. unusual and sometimes improper
  34. pay one's way See pay 1 (def. 11)
  35. see one's way or see one's way clear to find it possible and be willing (to do something)
  36. the way Irish so thatI left early the way I would avoid the traffic
  37. under way having started moving or making progress
  1. informal
    1. at a considerable distance or extentway over yonder
    2. very farthey're way up the mountain
  2. informal by far; considerablyway better
  3. slang truly; genuinelythey have a way cool site

Word Origin for way

Old English weg; related to Old Frisian wei, Old Norse vegr, Gothic wigs
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 go all the way



Old English weg "road, path, course of travel," from Proto-Germanic *wegaz (cf. Old Saxon, Dutch weg, Old Norse vegr, Old Frisian wei, Old High German weg, German Weg, Gothic wigs "way"), from PIE *wegh- "to move" (see weigh). Most of the extended senses developed in Middle English. Adverbial meaning "very, extremely" is by 1986, perhaps from phrase all the way. Ways and means "resources at a person's disposal" is attested from early 15c. Way-out (adj.) "original, bold," is jazz slang, first recorded 1940s. Encouragement phrase way to go is short for that's the way to go.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with go all the way

go all the way


Continue on a course to the end, as in The town agreed to put in a sewer but would not go all the way with widening the street. [First half of 1900s] Also see go the distance.


Engage in sexual intercourse, as in Her mother told her some boys will always try to make her go all the way. [Slang; second half of 1900s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with way

  • way the wind blows, which
  • way to go

also see:

  • all the way
  • by the way
  • by way of
  • can't punch one's way out of a paper bag
  • come a long way
  • come one's way
  • cut both ways
  • downhill all the way
  • every which way
  • feel one's way
  • find one's way
  • from way back
  • get one's way
  • give way
  • go all the way
  • go a long way toward
  • go one's way
  • go out of one's way
  • go the way of all flesh
  • hard way
  • have a way with
  • have it both ways
  • have one's way with
  • in a bad way
  • in a big way
  • in a way
  • in one's way
  • in the family way
  • in the way
  • in the worst way
  • know all the answers (one's way around)
  • laugh all the way to the bank
  • lead the way
  • look the other way
  • make one's way
  • make way
  • mend one's ways
  • more than one way to skin a cat
  • not built that way
  • no two ways about it
  • no way
  • one way or another
  • on one's way
  • on the way
  • on the way out
  • other way round
  • out of the way
  • parting of the ways
  • pave the way
  • pay one's way
  • pick one's way
  • put in the way of
  • right of way
  • rub the wrong way
  • see one's way to
  • set in one's ways
  • show the way
  • take the wrong way
  • that's how (the way) the ball bounces
  • under way
  • wend one's way
  • work one's way
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.