• synonyms


[ out-uh v-thuh-wey ]
/ ˈaʊt əv ðəˌweɪ /


remote from much-traveled, frequented, or populous regions; secluded: an out-of-the-way inn up in the hills.
seldom encountered; unusual: out-of-the-way information.
giving offense; improper: an out-of-the-way remark.


Words Of The 60s: Far Out!Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.


backwoods, distant, far-flung, faraway, godforsaken, inaccessible, isolated, lonely, obscure, outer, outermost, outlying, peripheral, remote

Nearby words

out-of-round, out-of-sight, out-of-state, out-of-stater, out-of-sync, out-of-the-way, out-of-town, out-of-towner, out-process, out-relief, out-take

Origin of out-of-the-way

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300

Definition for out of the way (2 of 2)


[ wey ]
/ weɪ /


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
3 scheme, device. See method.
4 detail, part.
7 space, interval.
10 track.
14 usage, practice, wont.
Related formsway·less, adjective
Can be confusedway weigh weight Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for out of the way (1 of 2)


adjective (prenominal)

distant from more populous areas
uncommon or unusual

British Dictionary definitions for out of the way (2 of 2)


/ (weɪ) /



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 out of 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 out of the way (1 of 2)

out of the way


Not obstructing, hindering, or interfering, as in This chair is out of the way now, so you won't trip. This phrase also appears in get out of the (or one's) way, as in Would you please get your coat out of the way? or Get your car out of my way. [Mid-1500s]


Taken care of, disposed of, as in I'm glad we got these details out of the way.


In a remote location, as in This restaurant is a little out of the way. [Mid-1300s]


Unusual, remarkable, as in It was out of the way for him to praise his staff. [Second half of 1500s]


Amiss, in error, improper, as in The security guard checked all the locks and saw nothing out of the way. [Early 1200s] Also see go out of one's way.

Idioms and Phrases with out of the way (2 of 2)


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.