View synonyms for way



[ wey ]


  1. manner, mode, or fashion:

    a new way of looking at a matter; to reply in a polite way.

  2. characteristic or habitual manner:

    Her way is to work quietly and never complain.

  3. a method, plan, or means for attaining a goal:

    to find a way to reduce costs.

    Synonyms: device, scheme

  4. a respect or particular:

    The plan is defective in several ways.

    Synonyms: detail

  5. a direction or vicinity:

    Look this way. We're having a drought out our way.

  6. passage or progress on a course:

    to make one's way on foot; to lead the way.

  7. Often . distance:

    They've come a long way.

    Synonyms: interval, space

  8. a path or course leading from one place to another:

    What's the shortest way to town?

  9. British.
    1. an old Roman or pre-Roman road:

      Icknield Way.

    2. a minor street in a town:

      He lives in Stepney Way.

  10. a road, route, passage, or channel (usually used in combination):

    highway; waterway; doorway.

    Synonyms: track

  11. Law. a right of way.
  12. any line of passage or travel, used or available:

    to blaze a way through dense woods.

  13. space for passing or advancing:

    to clear a way through the crowd.

  14. Often . a habit or custom:

    The grandmother lived by the ways of the old country.

    Synonyms: wont, practice, usage

  15. course or mode of procedure that one chooses or wills:

    They had to do it my way.

  16. condition, as to health, prosperity, or the like:

    to be in a bad way.

  17. range or extent of experience or notice:

    the best device that ever came in my way.

  18. a course of life, action, or experience:

    The way of transgressors is hard.

  19. Informal. business:

    to be in the haberdashery way.

  20. Nautical.
    1. ways, two or more ground ways down which a hull slides in being launched.
    2. movement or passage through the water.
  21. Machinery. a longitudinal strip, as in a planer, guiding a moving part along a surface.



[ wey ]


  1. Also 'way. away; from this or that place:

    Go way.

  2. to a great degree or at quite a distance; far:

    way too heavy; way down the road.


/ weɪ /


  1. a manner, method, or means

    a way of life

    a way of knowing

  2. a route or direction

    the way home

    1. a means or line of passage, such as a path or track
    2. ( in combination )


  3. space or room for movement or activity (esp in the phrases make way, in the way, out of the way )
  4. distance, usually distance in general

    you've come a long way

  5. a passage or journey

    on the way

  6. characteristic style or manner

    I did it in my own way

  7. often plural habits; idiosyncrasies

    he has some offensive ways

  8. an aspect of something; particular

    in many ways he was right

    1. a street in or leading out of a town
    2. ( capital when part of a street name )

      Icknield Way

  9. something that one wants in a determined manner (esp in the phrases get or have one's ( own ) way )
  10. the experience or sphere in which one comes into contact with things (esp in the phrase come one's way )
  11. informal.
    a state or condition, usually financial or concerning health (esp in the phrases in a good ( or bad ) way )
  12. informal.
    the area or direction of one's home

    drop in if you're ever over my way

  13. movement of a ship or other vessel
  14. a right of way in law
  15. a guide along which something can be moved, such as the surface of a lathe along which the tailstock slides
  16. plural the wooden or metal tracks down which a ship slides to be launched
  17. a course of life including experiences, conduct, etc

    the way of sin

  18. archaic.
    calling or trade
  19. by the way
    sentence modifier in passing or incidentally
  20. by way of
    1. via
    2. serving as

      by way of introduction

    3. in the state or condition of

      by way of being an artist

  21. each way
    (of a bet) laid on a horse, dog, etc, to win or gain a place
  22. give way
    1. to collapse or break down
    2. to withdraw or yield
  23. give way to
    1. to step aside for or stop for
    2. to give full rein to (emotions, etc)
  24. go out of one's way
    to take considerable trouble or inconvenience oneself
  25. have a way with
    to have such a manner or skill as to handle successfully
  26. have it both ways
    to enjoy two things that would normally contradict each other or be mutually exclusive
  27. in a way
    in some respects
  28. in no way
    not at all
  29. lead the way
    1. to go first
    2. to set an example or precedent
  30. make one's way
    1. to proceed or advance
    2. to achieve success in life
  31. no way informal.
    that is impossible
  32. on the way out informal.
    1. becoming unfashionable, obsolete, etc
    2. dying
  33. out of the way
    1. removed or dealt with so as to be no longer a hindrance
    2. remote
    3. unusual and sometimes improper
  34. pay one's way
    See pay 1
  35. see one's way or see one's way clear
    to find it possible and be willing (to do something)
  36. the way
    so that

    I left early the way I would avoid the traffic

  37. under way
    having started moving or making progress
“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


  1. informal.
    1. at a considerable distance or extent

      way over yonder

    2. very far

      they're way up the mountain

  2. informal.
    by far; considerably

    way better

  3. slang.
    truly; genuinely

    they have a way cool site

“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
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Other Words From

  • wayless adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of way1

First recorded before 900; Middle English wei, weie, wei(gh)e “road, thoroughfare, highway,” Old English weg; cognate with Old Frisian wei, wī, Dutch weg, German Weg, Old Norse vegr, Gothic wigs; akin to Latin vehere “to carry,” Greek ókhos (from wókhos ) “cart, vehicle”

Origin of way2

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English wei, wai, shortened variant of away
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Word History and Origins

Origin of way1

Old English weg; related to Old Frisian wei, Old Norse vegr, Gothic wigs
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. by the way, in the course of one's remarks; incidentally:

    By the way, have you received that letter yet?

  2. by way of,
    1. by the route of; through; via.
    2. as a method or means of:

      to number articles by way of distinguishing them.

    3. British. in the state or position of (being, doing, etc.); ostensibly:

      He is by way of being an authority on the subject.

  3. come one's way, to come to one; befall one:

    A bit of good fortune came my way.

  4. give way to,
    1. to yield to:

      He gave way to their entreaties.

    2. to become unrestrained or uninhibited; lose control of (one's temper, emotions, etc.):

      I gave way to my rage and ordered them from the house.

  5. give way,
    1. to withdraw or retreat:

      The army gave way before the advance of the enemy.

    2. to collapse; yield; break down:

      You will surely give way under the strain of overwork.

  6. go all the way, Slang.
    1. to do completely or wholeheartedly.
    2. to take a decisive action, especially one from which no retreat is possible:

      Neither side wants to go all the way with nuclear warfare.

    3. to engage in sexual intercourse.
  7. go out of one's way, to do something that inconveniences one; make an unusual effort:

    Please don't go out of your way on my account.

  8. have a way with, to have a charming, persuasive, or effective manner of dealing with:

    He has a way with children; to have a way with words.

  9. have one's way with, (especially of a man) to have sexual intercourse with, sometimes by intimidating or forcing one's partner.
  10. in a family way, pregnant.
  11. in a way, after a fashion; to some extent:

    In a way, she's the nicest person I know.

  12. in someone's way, forming a hindrance, impediment, or obstruction: Also in the way.

    She might have succeeded in her ambition, had not circumstances been in her way.

  13. lead the way,
    1. to go along a course in advance of others, as a guide.
    2. to take the initiative; be first or most prominent:

      In fashion she has always led the way.

  14. make one's way,
    1. to go forward; proceed:

      to make one's way through the mud.

    2. to achieve recognition or success; advance:

      to make one's way in the world.

  15. make way,
    1. to allow to pass; clear the way:

      Make way for the king!

    2. to relinquish to another; withdraw:

      He resigned to make way for a younger man.

    3. Nautical. to make forward or astern progress even though engines are not running.
  16. no way, Informal. not under any circumstances; no:

    Apologize to him? No way!

  17. out of the way,
    1. in a state or condition so as not to obstruct or hinder.
    2. dealt with; disposed of:

      I feel better, now that one problem is out of the way.

    3. murdered:

      to have a person put out of the way.

    4. out of the frequented way; at a distance from the usual route.
    5. improper; amiss:

      There was something decidedly out of the way about her explanation.

    6. extraordinary; unusual:

      Such behavior was out of the way for him.

  18. see one's way clear, to regard as suitable or possible; consider seriously: Also see one's way.

    We couldn't see our way clear to spending so much money at once.

  19. take one's way, to start out; travel; go:

    He took his way across the park and headed uptown.

  20. pave the way to / for. pave ( def 3 ).

More idioms and phrases containing way

  • all the way
  • by the way
  • by way of
  • can't punch one's way out of a paper bag
  • come a long way
  • come one's way
  • cut both ways
  • downhill all the way
  • every which way
  • feel one's way
  • find one's way
  • from way back
  • get one's way
  • give way
  • go all the way
  • go a long way toward
  • go one's way
  • go out of one's way
  • go the way of all flesh
  • hard way
  • have a way with
  • have it both ways
  • have one's way with
  • in a bad way
  • in a big way
  • in a way
  • in one's way
  • in the family way
  • in the way
  • in the worst way
  • know all the answers (one's way around)
  • laugh all the way to the bank
  • lead the way
  • look the other way
  • make one's way
  • make way
  • mend one's ways
  • more than one way to skin a cat
  • not built that way
  • no two ways about it
  • no way
  • one way or another
  • on one's way
  • on the way
  • on the way out
  • other way round
  • out of the way
  • parting of the ways
  • pave the way
  • pay one's way
  • pick one's way
  • put in the way of
  • right of way
  • rub the wrong way
  • see one's way to
  • set in one's ways
  • show the way
  • take the wrong way
  • that's how (the way) the ball bounces
  • under way
  • wend one's way
  • work one's way
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Synonym Study

See method.
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Example Sentences

Jozy Altidore is 31, and Josh Sargent, who turns 21 this month, is finding his way at Germany’s Werder Bremen.

“In many ways, I don’t want to say I expected it, but I think from the league’s perspective or players’, I think we knew it wasn’t going to go perfectly,” defenseman John Carlson said.

It’s changed me only in the way that it’s made me a better person.

You just stay attached when you’re trying to find your way, and that’s why I was happy.

Rapid advances in crash-detection technology, like in some Garmin computers and Specialized’s ANGI helmet sensor, might pave the way for crowdsourcing data from real-life crashes.

It was also an attack on our freedom of expression and way of life.

I remember H. Jon Benjamin told me it was a way-too-late apology for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Empire will be hate-watched and may set off some conversations on its way from fading from our minds.

I think if you keep trying to do things the same way it becomes diminishing returns.

Professor Penelope Leach told The Daily Beast it was ludicrous to monitor young children in that way.

It is most peculiar, and when he plays that way, the most bewitching little expression comes over his face.

"Capital, capital," his lordship would remark with great alacrity, when there was no other way of escape.

In this way bundles of the plants are easily made, and in most cases these can be readily carried about.

You would not think it too much to set the whole province in flames so that you could have your way with this wretched child.

She looked so sweet when she said it, standing and smiling there in the middle of the floor, the door-way making a frame for her.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.