• synonyms


See more synonyms for subway on Thesaurus.com
  1. Also called, especially British, tube, underground. an underground electric railroad, usually in a large city.
  2. Chiefly British. a short tunnel or underground passageway for pedestrians, automobiles, etc.; underpass.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to be transported by a subway: We subwayed uptown.
Show More

Origin of subway

First recorded in 1820–30; sub- + way1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for subway

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We were both hanging to straps in the subway and we had but a moment before he got off.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • And the girl, journeying in the subway to and from her work!

  • Morrow sped as fast as elevated and subway could carry him to the Bronx.

    The Crevice

    William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

  • He took the Subway back to the Grand Central, and walked from there to the club.

    The Wall Street Girl

    Frederick Orin Bartlett

  • It was not for that, or for him, that she was then in the subway, but for dinner.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

British Dictionary definitions for subway


  1. British an underground passage or tunnel enabling pedestrians to cross a road, railway, etc
  2. an underground passage or tunnel for traffic, electric power supplies, etc
  3. mainly US and Canadian an underground railway
Show More
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 subway


1825, "underground passage" (for water pipes or pedestrians), from sub- + way. The sense of "underground railway in a city" is first recorded 1893, in reference to Boston.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper