[hahy-wey-muh n]

noun, plural high·way·men.

(formerly) a holdup man, especially one on horseback, who robbed travelers along a public road.

Origin of highwayman

First recorded in 1640–50; highway + -man
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for highwayman

outlaw, desperado, thief, bandit, crook, criminal, brigand, rider, footpad

Examples from the Web for highwayman

Historical Examples of highwayman

  • One asked, "Whether she was to be indicted for a highwayman?"

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1

    Henry Fielding

  • Did you ever play you were a highwayman, or an elephant, or anything of that sort?

    The Very Small Person

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • A highwayman was its hero and its scene the great North Road in England.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It is like giving of free will to the highwayman the purse he expected to have a fight for.

  • And do you concur in the silly notion that confounds Harry Talbot with a highwayman?

    The O'Donoghue

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for highwayman


noun plural -men

(formerly) a robber, usually on horseback, who held up travellers
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 highwayman

"one who travels the highways with intent to rob people" (often on horseback and thus contrasted to a footpad), 1640s, from highway + man.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper