What does leeway mean?

Definitions for leewayˈliˌweɪ

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word leeway.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. leeway(noun)

    (of a ship or plane) sideways drift

  2. allowance, leeway, margin, tolerance(noun)

    a permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits


  1. leeway(Noun)

    The drift of a ship or airplane in a leeward direction.

  2. leeway(Noun)

    A varying degree or amount of freedom or flexibility; margin, latitude, elbowroom.

    I don't think we have a lot of leeway when it comes to proper formatting.

  3. leeway(Noun)

    An adverse discrepancy or variation in a cumulative process, usually in make up leeway.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Leeway(noun)

    the lateral movement of a ship to the leeward of her course; drift


  1. Leeway

    Leeway is the amount of drift motion to leeward of an object floating in the water caused by the component of the wind vector that is perpendicular to the object’s forward motion. The National Search and Rescue Supplement to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual defines leeway as "the movement of a search object through water caused by winds blowing against exposed surfaces". However, the resultant total motion of an object is made up of the leeway drift and the movement of the upper layer of the ocean caused by the surface currents, tidal currents and ocean currents. Objects with a greater exposure to each element will experience more leeway drift and overall movement through the water than ones with less exposure. A navigator or pilot on a vessel must adjust the ordered course to compensate for the leeway drift and more important set and drift, an all encompassing term for drift that includes the steering error of the vessel. Failure to make these adjustments during a voyage will yield poor navigational results. Bowditch's American Practical Navigator offers a comprehensive free guide to navigation principles. An object can be classified as either an active object like a ship navigating through a waterway or a passive object like a liferaft, drifting debris, or a person in the water. A passive object will experience the greatest leeway drift and it is this drift that is of utmost importance to those involved in search and rescue upon inland waterways and open oceans.

Suggested Resources

  1. leeway

    Song lyrics by leeway -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by leeway on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of leeway in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of leeway in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Jennifer Pizer:

    It is a signal to those who want to discriminate that they have greater leeway to do so.

  2. Daniel Ramirez:

    And there will be some leeway in the Francisco era for a more nuanced approach to the contraception question.

  3. Edward Hoagland:

    Animals are stylized characters in a kind of old saga -- stylized because even the most acute of them have little leeway as they play out their parts.

  4. Marcus Kuhnert:

    We want to reduce the loans very aggressively within two to three years to stabilise our credit rating and to regain financial leeway for further acquisitions.

  5. Fadi Hakura:

    Turkey's strategic geography dictates that its allies continue giving it some leeway ... People simply can't afford to ignore Turkey, whatever the policies of President Erdogan.

Images & Illustrations of leeway

  1. leewayleewayleeway

Translations for leeway

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for leeway »


Find a translation for the leeway definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these leeway definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"leeway." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 24 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/leeway>.

Are we missing a good definition for leeway? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for leeway:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.