a long, narrow stretch with a smoothed or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, etc., between two or more points; street or highway.
a way or course: the road to peace.
Often roads. Also called roadstead. Nautical. a partly sheltered area of water near a shore in which vessels may ride at anchor.
Mining. any tunnel in a mine used for hauling.
the road, the places, usually outside of New York City, at which theatrical companies on tour generally give performances.

Nearby words

  1. roa,
  2. roach,
  3. roach back,
  4. roach clip,
  5. roached,
  6. road agent,
  7. road allowance,
  8. road apple,
  9. road book,
  10. road company


Origin of road

before 900; Middle English rode, earlier rade, Old English rād a riding, journey on horseback, akin to rīdan to ride

Related formsroad·less, adjectiveroad·less·ness, nounin·ter·road, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for road

British Dictionary definitions for road



  1. an open way, usually surfaced with asphalt or concrete, providing passage from one place to another
  2. (as modifier)road traffic; a road map; a road sign
  3. (in combination)the roadside
  1. a street
  2. (capital when part of a name)London Road
  1. US short for railroad
  2. Britishone of the tracks of a railway
a way, path, or coursethe road to fame
Also called: roadstead (often plural) nautical a partly sheltered anchorage
a drift or tunnel in a mine, esp a level one
hit the road slang to start or resume travelling
on the road
  1. travelling, esp as a salesman
  2. (of a theatre company, pop group, etc) on tour
  3. leading a wandering life
take the road or take to the road to begin a journey or tour
one for the road informal a last alcoholic drink before leaving
Derived Formsroadless, adjective

Word Origin for road

Old English rād; related to rīdan to ride, and to Old Saxon rēda, Old Norse reith

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 road



Old English rad "riding expedition, journey, hostile incursion," from Proto-Germanic *raido (cf. Old Frisian red "ride," Old Saxon reda, Middle Dutch rede, Old High German reita "foray, raid"), from PIE *reidh- "to ride" (see ride (v.)). Also related to raid (n.). In Middle English, "a riding, a journey;" sense of "open way for traveling between two places" is first recorded 1590s. Meaning "narrow stretch of sheltered water" is from early 14c. (e.g. Hampton Roads in Virginia).

Modern spelling established 18c. In 19c. U.S. use, often meaning "railroad." On the road "travelling" is from 1640s. Road test (n.) is from 1906; as a verb from 1937. Road hog is attested from 1886; road rage is from 1988. Road map is from 1786; road trip is by 1950, originally of baseball teams.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with road


In addition to the idioms beginning with road

  • road hog
  • road show
  • road to hell is paved with good intentions, the

also see:

  • all roads lead to Rome
  • down the line (road)
  • end of the line (road)
  • get the show on the road
  • hit the road
  • one for the road
  • on the road
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.