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See also: Way, wɑy, 'way, and -way



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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English way, wey, from Old English weġ (way; path), from Proto-Germanic *wegaz, from Proto-Indo-European *weǵʰ-. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Wai (way), West Frisian wei, Dutch weg, Low German Weg, German Weg, Danish vej, Swedish väg, Norwegian Bokmål vei, Norwegian Nynorsk veg, Latin vehō, Albanian udhë.

Alternative formsEdit


way (plural ways)

  1. (heading) To do with a place or places.
    1. A road, a direction, a (physical or conceptual) path from one place to another.
      Do you know the way to the airport?Come this way and I'll show you a shortcut.It's a long way from here.
      • John Milton (1608-1674)
        The way seems difficult, and steep to scale.
      • John Evelyn (1620-1706)
        The season and ways were very improper for his majesty's forces to march so great a distance.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
        Judge Short had gone to town, and Farrar was off for a three days' cruise up the lake. I was bitterly regretting I had not gone with him when the distant notes of a coach horn reached my ear, and I descried a four-in-hand winding its way up the inn road from the direction of Mohair.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
        I was on my way to the door, but all at once, through the fog in my head, I began to sight one reef that I hadn't paid any attention to afore.
      • 2013 June 22, “Snakes and ladders”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 76:
        Risk is everywhere. [] For each one there is a frighteningly precise measurement of just how likely it is to jump from the shadows and get you. “The Norm Chronicles” [] aims to help data-phobes find their way through this blizzard of risks.
    2. A means to enter or leave a place.
      We got into the cinema through the back way.
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, in The China Governess[1]:
        Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime. Their bases were on a level with the pavement outside, a narrow way which was several feet lower than the road behind the house.
    3. A roughly-defined geographical area.
      If you're ever 'round this way, come over and visit me.
  2. A method or manner of doing something; a mannerism.
    You're going about it the wrong way.He's known for his quirky ways.I don't like the way she looks at me.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad:
      “[…] That woman is stark mad, Lord Stranleigh. [] If she had her way, she’d ruin the company inside a year with her hare-brained schemes ; love of the people, and that sort of guff.”
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 2, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      She was a fat, round little woman, richly apparelled in velvet and lace, […]; and the way she laughed, cackling like a hen, the way she talked to the waiters and the maid, []—all these unexpected phenomena impelled one to hysterical mirth, and made one class her with such immortally ludicrous types as Ally Sloper, the Widow Twankey, or Miss Moucher.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
      [] his lordship was out of humour. That was the way Chollacombe described as knaggy an old gager as ever Charles had had the ill-fortune to serve. Stiff-rumped, that's what he was, always rubbing the rust, or riding grub, like he had been for months past.
    • 2013 June 1, “A better waterworks”, in The Economist[2], volume 407, number 8838, page 5 (Technology Quarterly):
      An artificial kidney these days still means a refrigerator-sized dialysis machine. Such devices mimic the way real kidneys cleanse blood and eject impurities and surplus water as urine.
  3. A state or condition
    When I returned home, I found my house and belongings in a most terrible way.
  4. (heading) Personal interaction.
    1. Possibility (usually in the phrases 'any way' and 'no way').
      There's no way I'm going to clean up after you.
    2. Determined course; resolved mode of action or conduct.
      My little sister always whines until she gets her way.
  5. (paganism) A tradition within the modern pagan faith of Heathenry, dedication to a specific deity or craft, Way of wyrd, Way of runes, Way of Thor etc.
  6. (nautical) Speed, progress, momentum.
    • 1977, Richard O'Kane, Clear the Bridge: The War Patrols of the U.S.S. Tang, Ballantine Books (2003), p.343:
      Ten minutes into the run Tang slowed, Welch calling out her speed as she lost way.
  7. A degree, an amount, a sense.
    In a large way, crocodiles and alligators are similar.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      That concertina was a wonder in its way. The handles that was on it first was wore out long ago, and he'd made new ones of braided rope yarn. And the bellows was patched in more places than a cranberry picker's overalls.
  8. (US, As the head of an interjectory clause) Acknowledges that a task has been done well, chiefly in expressions of sarcastic congratulation.
    Way to ruin the moment, guys.
    • 2001, Joshua Nedelman, The Garden of Eastern, page 36:
      Jimmy leaned forward holding his ear, the personification of naïveté, looking as young as a baby with his oh-so-innocent face. “Oh, way to get us busted, Jimmy,” Curt hissed under his breath.
    • 2009, Linda Winfree, Fall in Me, page 165:
      Oh, way to start a rumor, Hope. Angel glared the silent statement at her sister.
    • 2012, Nancy Manther, A Charmed Life:
      "Oh, way to care about how I feel." His voice took on an exaggerated “Valley Girl” tone.
  9. (plural only) The timbers of shipyard stocks that slope into the water and along which a ship or large boat is launched.
    • 1912, Fredrick A. Talbot, Steamship Conquest of the World[3], page 36:
      By the time the Mauretania was ready for launching a total weight of 16,800 tons was standing in the berth, and this represented the heaviest weight that had ever been sent down the ways up to that time.
  10. (plural only) The longitudinal guiding surfaces on the bed of a planer, lathe, etc. along which a table or carriage moves.
"It's a long way to Tipperary, / it's a long way to go." [It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, a marching and music hall song by Jack Judge and Henry "Harry" James Williams, popularized especially by British troops in World War One]
  • (a tradition within Heathenry): To walk the Way of the Runes, you must experience the runes as they manifest both in the part of Midgard that lies outside yourself and the worlds within. (Diana Paxson)
Derived termsEdit



  1. (only in reply to no way) It is true.
    • 2011, William Schwenn, Dogs of Meadowbrook:
      We repeated this ritual of “no way - way, no way - way” over the years.


way (third-person singular simple present ways, present participle waying, simple past and past participle wayed)

  1. (obsolete) To travel.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.ii:
      on a time as they together way'd, / He made him open chalenge [...].

Etymology 2Edit

Apheresis of away.

Alternative formsEdit


way (not comparable)

  1. (informal, with comparative or modified adjective) Much.
    I'm way too tired to do that.
    I'm a way better singer than Emma.
    • 2006, Keyboard, Volume 32, Issues 1-6, page 132,
      It turns out that's way more gain than you need for a keyboard, but you don't have to use all of it to benefit from the sonic characteristics.
  2. (slang, with positive adjective) Very.
    I'm way tired
    String theory is way cool, except for the math.
    • 2005, Erika V. Shearin Karres, Crushes, Flirts, & Friends: A Real Girl's Guide to Boy Smarts, page 16,
      With all the way cool boys out there, what if you don't recognize them because you don't know what to look for? Or, what if you have a chance to pick a perfect Prince and you end up with a yucky Frog instead?
  3. (informal) Far.
    I used to live way over there.
    The farmhouse is way down the bottom of the hill.
See alsoEdit

Etymology 3Edit

From the sound it represents, by analogy with other velar letters such as kay and gay.


way (plural ways)

  1. The letter for the w sound in Pitman shorthand.
Related termsEdit
  • double-u, the name of the Latin letter for this sound


Lampung ApiEdit



From Proto-Lampungic, from Proto-Sunda-Sulawesi *wair, from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *wahiʀ.



  1. water (clear liquid H₂O)




  1. tortilla