turnpike

[turn-pahyk]
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noun
  1. a high-speed highway, especially one maintained by tolls.
  2. (formerly) a barrier set across such a highway to stop passage until a toll has been paid; tollgate.

Origin of turnpike

1375–1425; late Middle English turnepike road barrier (in def. 1, short for turnpike road). See turn, pike2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Historical Examples of turnpike


British Dictionary definitions for turnpike

turnpike

noun
  1. (between the mid-16th and late 19th centuries)
    1. gates or some other barrier set across a road to prevent passage until a toll had been paid
    2. a road on which a turnpike was operated
  2. an obsolete word for turnstile (def. 1)
  3. US a motorway for use of which a toll is charged

Word Origin for turnpike

C15: from turn + pike ²
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 turnpike
n.

early 15c., "spiked road barrier used for defense," from turn + pike (n.2) "shaft." Sense transferred to "horizontal cross of timber, turning on a vertical pin" (1540s), which were used to bar horses from foot roads. This led to the sense of "barrier to stop passage until a toll is paid" (1670s). Meaning "road with a toll gate" is from 1748, shortening of turnpike road (1745).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper