Also called, especially British, tube, underground. an underground electric railroad, usually in a large city.
Chiefly British. a short tunnel or underground passageway for pedestrians, automobiles, etc.; underpass.

verb (used without object)

to be transported by a subway: We subwayed uptown.

Origin of subway

First recorded in 1820–30; sub- + way1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for subway

underground, metro, tube, chute

Examples from the Web for subway

Contemporary Examples of subway

Historical Examples of subway

  • 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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper