- a high-speed highway, especially one maintained by tolls.
- (formerly) a barrier set across such a highway to stop passage until a toll has been paid; tollgate.
Origin of turnpike
Examples from the Web for turnpike
The first American turnpike was built in Pennsylvania in 1790.The Railroad Question
The character he most loved to play was Crack, in the "Turnpike Gate."
And I turned El Mahdi into the wooded road on the left of the turnpike.
Presently Jud came down into the turnpike and shouted to me.
No support, and no orders, and on the turnpike a bank of blue massing to rush my guns!The Long Roll
- (between the mid-16th and late 19th centuries)
- gates or some other barrier set across a road to prevent passage until a toll had been paid
- a road on which a turnpike was operated
- an obsolete word for turnstile (def. 1)
- US a motorway for use of which a toll is charged
Word Origin and History for turnpike
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).