What does way mean?

Definitions for way

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word way.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. manner, mode, style, way, fashionnoun

    how something is done or how it happens

    "her dignified manner"; "his rapid manner of talking"; "their nomadic mode of existence"; "in the characteristic New York style"; "a lonely way of life"; "in an abrasive fashion"

  2. means, agency, waynoun

    how a result is obtained or an end is achieved

    "a means of control"; "an example is the best agency of instruction"; "the true way to success"

  3. direction, waynoun

    a line leading to a place or point

    "he looked the other direction"; "didn't know the way home"

  4. waynoun

    the condition of things generally

    "that's the way it is"; "I felt the same way"

  5. way, path, way of lifenoun

    a course of conduct

    "the path of virtue"; "we went our separate ways"; "our paths in life led us apart"; "genius usually follows a revolutionary path"

  6. waynoun

    any artifact consisting of a road or path affording passage from one place to another

    "he said he was looking for the way out"

  7. waynoun

    a journey or passage

    "they are on the way"

  8. room, way, elbow roomnoun

    space for movement

    "room to pass"; "make way for"; "hardly enough elbow room to turn around"

  9. waynoun

    the property of distance in general

    "it's a long way to Moscow"; "he went a long ways"

  10. waynoun

    doing as one pleases or chooses

    "if I had my way"

  11. waynoun

    a general category of things; used in the expression `in the way of'

    "they didn't have much in the way of clothing"

  12. wayadverb

    a portion of something divided into shares

    "they split the loot three ways"

  13. way, right smartadverb

    to a great degree or by a great distance; very much (`right smart' is regional in the United States)

    "way over budget"; "way off base"; "the other side of the hill is right smart steeper than the side we are on"


  1. Waynoun

    the South Downs Way

    We're walking along the Way now.

  2. Etymology: From weg. Cognate with Dutch weg, German Weg, Swedish väg, Latin vehere, via.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Waynoun

    Etymology: wœg , Saxon; weigh, Dutch.

    I am amaz’d, and lose my way,
    Among the thorns and dangers of this world. William Shakespeare.

    You cannot see your way. ——
    —— I have no way, and therefore want no eyes:
    I stumbled when I saw. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    To God’s eternal house direct the way,
    A broad and ample road. John Milton.

    Flutt’ring the god, and weeping said,
    Pity poor Cupid, generous maid!
    Who happen’d, being blind, to stray,
    And on thy bosom lost his way. Matthew Prior.

    Know’st thou the way to Dover? ——
    —— Both stile and gate, horse-way, and foot-path. William Shakespeare.

    An old man that had travelled a great way under a huge burden, found himself so weary, that he called upon death to deliver him. Roger L'Estrange.

    I now go toward him, therefore follow me,
    And mark what way I make. William Shakespeare, Winter Tale.

    He stood in the gate, and ask’d of ev’ry one,
    Which way she took, and whither she was gone. Dryden.

    Attending long in vain, I took the way,
    Which through a path, but scarcely printed, lay. Dryden.

    With downward force he took his way,
    And roll’d his yellow billows to the sea. Dryden.

    My seven brave brothers, in one fatal day,
    To death’s dark mansions took the mournful way. Dryden.

    To observe every the least difference that is in things, keeps the understanding steady and right in its way to knowledge. John Locke.

    The boy was to know his father’s circumstances, and that he was to make his way by his own industry. Spectator, №. 123.

    Back do I toss these treasons to thy head:
    This sword of mine shall give them instant way,
    Where they shall rest for ever. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    Th’ angelick choirs,
    On each hand parting, to his speed gave way,
    Through all th’ empyreal road. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. v.

    Youth and vain confidence thy life betray:
    Through armies this has made Melantius’ way. Edmund Waller.

    The reason may be, that men seldom come into those posts, till after forty; about which time the natural heat beginning to decay, makes way for those distempers. William Temple.

    The air could not readily get out of those prisons, but by degrees, as the earth and water above would give way. Burnet.

    As a soldier, foremost in the fight,
    Makes way for others. Dryden.

    Some make themselves way, and are suggested to the mind by all the ways of sensation and reflection. John Locke.

    There would be left no difference between truth and falsehood, if what we certainly know, give way to what we may possibly be mistaken in. John Locke.

    Nor was he satisfy’d, unless he made the pure profession of the gospel give way to superstition and idolatry, wherever he had power to expel the one, and establish the other. Francis Atterbury.

    I would give way to others, who might argue very well upon the same subject. Jonathan Swift.

    Come a little nearer this way,
    I warrant thee no body hears. William Shakespeare, Mer. Wives of Wind.

    But give me leave to seize my destin’d prey,
    And let eternal justice take the way. Dryden.

    These inquisitions are never without baseness, and very often useless to the curious inquirer. For men stand upon their guards against them, laying all their counsels and secrets out of their way. Jeremy Taylor, Rule of Living Holy.

    The imagination being naturally tumultuous, interposeth itself without asking leave, casting thoughts in our way, and forcing the understanding to reflect upon them. Brian Duppa.

    There is nothing in the words that sounds that way, or points particularly at persecution. Francis Atterbury.

    Being once at liberty, ’twas said, having made my way with some foreign prince, I would turn pirate. Walter Raleigh.

    The general officers, and the publick ministers that fell in my way, were generally subject to the gout. William Temple.

    By noble ways we conquest will prepare;
    First offer peace, and that refus’d, make war. Dryden.

    What conceivable ways are there, whereby we should come to be assured that there is such a being as God? John Tillotson.

    A child his mother so well instructed this way in geography, that he knew the limits of the four parts of the world. John Locke.

    It is not impossible to God to make a creature with more ways to convey into the understanding the notice of corporeal things, than those five he has given to man. John Locke.

    He durst not take open way against them, and as hard it was to take a secret, they being so continually followed by the best, and every way ablest of that region. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    Will not my yielded crown redeem my breath?
    Still am I fear’d? is there no way but death? Daniel.

    As by calling evil good, a man is misrepresented to himself in the way of flattery; so by calling good evil, he is misrepresented to others, in the way of slander. Robert South, Sermons.

    Now what impious ways my wishes took?
    How they the monarch, and the man forsook? Matthew Prior.

    The senate, forced to yield to the tribunes of the people, thought it their wisest course to give way also to the time. Jonathan Swift.

    He was of an high mind, and loved his own will and his way, as one that revered himself, and would reign indeed. Francis Bacon.

    If I had my way,
    He had mew’d in flames at home, not i’ th’ senate;
    I had sing’d his furs by this time. Ben Jonson, Catiline.

    She with a calm carelessness let every thing slide, as we do by their speeches, who neither in matter nor person do any way belong unto us. Philip Sidney.

    God hath so many times and ways spoken to men. Richard Hooker.

    Few writers make an extraordinary figure, who have not something in their way of thinking or expressing, that is entirely their own. Spectator, №. 160.

    His way of expressing and applying them, not his invention of them, is what we admire. Addison.

    Having lost the way of nobleness, he strove to climb to the height of terribleness. Philip Sidney.

    Matter of mirth,
    She could devise, and thousand ways invent,
    To feed her foolish humour, and vain jolliment. Edmund Spenser.

    To live th’ easiest way, not with perplexing thoughts. John Milton.

    A physician, unacquainted with your body, may put you in a way for a present cure, but overthroweth your health in some other kind. Francis Bacon.

    To attain
    The height and depth of thy eternal ways,
    All human thought comes short. John Milton.

    When a man sees the prodigious expence our forefathers have been at in these barbarous buildings, one cannot but fancy what miracles they would have left us, had they only been instructed in the right way. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    We are quite out of the way, when we think that things contain within themselves the qualities that appear to us in them. Lo.

    They are more in danger to go out of the way, who are marching under the conduct of a guide that will mislead them, than he that has not yet taken a step, and is likelier to enquire after the right way. John Locke.

    By me, they offer all that you can ask,
    And point an easy way to happiness. Nicholas Rowe.

    Men who go out of the way to hint free things, must be guilty of absurdity, or rudeness. Clarissa.

    Note, by the way, that unity of continuance is easier to procure, than unity of species. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    Will. Honeycomb, now on the verge of threescore, asked me, in his most serious look, whether I would advise him to marry lady Betty Single, who, by the way, is one of the greatest fortunes about town. Spectator, №. 475.

    Nay, come your ways;
    This is his majesty, say your mind to him. William Shakespeare.

    To a boy fast asleep upon the brink of a river, fortune came and wak’d him; prithee get up, and go thy ways, thou’lt tumble in and be drown’d else. Roger L'Estrange.

    But if he shall any ways make them void after he hath heard them, then he shall bear her iniquity. Numb. xxx. 15.

    They erect conclusions no way inferible from their premises. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    Being sent to reduce Paros, he mistook a great fire at a distance for the fleet, and being no ways a match for them, set sail for Athens. Jonathan Swift.

    ’Tis no way the interest even of priesthood. Alexander Pope.


  1. Way

    "The Way is a song recorded by English singer Daniel Bedingfield. It was released on 23 May 2005 as the third and final single from his second studio album, Second First Impression (2004). It was written by Bedingfield and produced by Bedingfield and Jack Puig. The song peaked at number 41 on the UK Singles Chart.


  1. way

    A way is a method, course, or path that leads to a particular destination, goal, or outcome. It refers to the manner or means by which something is done or achieved. A way can involve physical movement, thought process, behavior, action, or approach towards accomplishing something. It encompasses the steps, procedures, or actions taken to reach a desired outcome. Ways can vary depending on the context and can be specific or broad in nature.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Wayadverb


  2. Waynoun

    that by, upon, or along, which one passes or processes; opportunity or room to pass; place of passing; passage; road, street, track, or path of any kind; as, they built a way to the mine

  3. Waynoun

    length of space; distance; interval; as, a great way; a long way

  4. Waynoun

    a moving; passage; procession; journey

  5. Waynoun

    course or direction of motion or process; tendency of action; advance

  6. Waynoun

    the means by which anything is reached, or anything is accomplished; scheme; device; plan

  7. Waynoun

    manner; method; mode; fashion; style; as, the way of expressing one's ideas

  8. Waynoun

    regular course; habitual method of life or action; plan of conduct; mode of dealing

  9. Waynoun

    sphere or scope of observation

  10. Waynoun

    determined course; resolved mode of action or conduct; as, to have one's way

  11. Waynoun

    progress; as, a ship has way

  12. Waynoun

    the timbers on which a ship is launched

  13. Waynoun

    the longitudinal guides, or guiding surfaces, on the bed of a planer, lathe, or the like, along which a table or carriage moves

  14. Waynoun

    right of way. See below

  15. Wayverb

    to go or travel to; to go in, as a way or path

  16. Wayverb

    to move; to progress; to go

  17. Etymology: [Aphetic form of away.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Way

    wā, v.t. (Spens.) to weigh, esteem.

  2. Way

    wā, n. passage: road: length of space: distance: direction: manner of life: condition, state: advance in life: general manner of acting: means: manner: will: (naut.) progress or motion through the water, headway.—v.i. (Spens.) to journey.—ns. Way′-bag′gage (U.S.), baggage to be laid down at a way-station; Way′-bill, list of passengers and goods carried by a coach; Way′-board, Weigh′-board, a thin stratum or seam separating thicker strata; Way′bread, the common plantain.—v.i. Way′fāre, to travel on foot.—n. Way′fārer, a traveller or passenger.—adj. Way′fāring, travelling or passing.—n. Way′fāring-tree, the Viburnum lantana, a large shrub common in British hedges.—adjs. Way′-gō′ing, departing; Way′gone, exhausted by travelling.—v.t. Way′lay, to lie in the way for: to watch or lie in ambush for.—n. Waylay′er.—adj. Way′less, without a path.—ns. Way′-māk′er, a pioneer, path-finder; Way′-mark, -post, guide-post; Way′-pass′enger, one taken up or set down by the way; Way′-side, the side of a way, path, or highway.—adj. growing or lying near the way-side.—ns. Way′-slid′ing (rare), a wandering from the right way; Way′-stā′tion, an intermediate station between principal stations on a railway; Way′-this′tle, the Canada thistle; Way′-traff′ic, local traffic, as distinguished from through or express traffic; Way′-train (U.S.), a train stopping at most of the stations on a line.—adj. Way′ward, froward: wilful: irregular.—n. Way′-war′den, a keeper of roads.—adv. Way′wardly.—n. Way′wardness.—adj. Way′worn, worn-out by travel.—n. Right′-of-way (see Right).—Way of the Cross, a series of pictorial representations representing the stages of Christ's progress to Calvary: devotions used in connection with these stages; Ways and means, resources: methods of raising money for the carrying on of government.—Be under way, Have way (naut.), to be in progress, as a vessel; By the way, as we go on; By way of, as for the purpose of: in character of; Come one's way, to come in one's direction; Committee of ways and means, the House of Commons in its capacity of raising the supplies; Give way (see Give); Go one's way (see Go); Go the way of all the earth, to die; Have one's way, to carry one's point or wish; In a small way, on a petty scale; In the family way (see Family); In the way, on the way: impeding, obstructing; In the way of, in a good position for effecting something: in respect of; Lead the way, to act as a guide in any movement; Make one's way, to push one's self forward; Make way, to give room: to advance; On the way, in progress; Out of the way, so as not to hinder or obstruct: away from the ordinary course: unusual: (Shak.) lost, hidden; Put one's self out of the way, to give one's self trouble; Take one's way, to set out: to follow one's own inclination or plan; The Way, the Christian Religion (Acts ix. 2, &c.). [A.S. weg; Ger. weg, L. via, Sans. vaha, akin to vehĕre, to carry.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. way

    Is sometimes the same as the ship's rake or run, forward or backward, but is most commonly understood of her sailing. Way is often used for wake. Thus when she begins her motion she is said to be under way; and when that motion increases, to have fresh-way through the water. Hence, also, she is said to have head-way or stern-way, to gather way or to lose way, &c. (See WIND'S-WAY.)--Gangway, means a clear space to pass. The gangway is the side space between the forecastle and quarter-deck. 'WAY ALOFT! OR 'WAY UP! The command when the crew are required aloft to loose, reef, furl sails, or man yards, &c.

Editors Contribution

  1. way

    A plan to achieve.

    There is always a way for unity to succeed.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 13, 2020  

  2. way

    The ability to do

    They always achieve their goals as they are fair and just.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 7, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. WAY

    What does WAY stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the WAY acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. WAY

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Way is ranked #2552 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Way surname appeared 14,157 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 would have the surname Way.

    80% or 11,328 total occurrences were White.
    12.3% or 1,743 total occurrences were Black.
    2.5% or 355 total occurrences were Asian.
    2.4% or 353 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.7% or 253 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 122 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'way' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #99

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'way' in Written Corpus Frequency: #122

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'way' in Nouns Frequency: #4

How to pronounce way?

How to say way in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of way in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of way in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of way in a Sentence

  1. Arun Kharat:

    Driving a taxi is a way for these marginalised people who may not get so many opportunities to gain respectability and independence.

  2. Nwiue lucky peter:

    When you know the right time, you act in the right way

  3. Phil Liu:

    The tech companies brought this upon themselves, there's this mentality that they'll go in and do whatever they want to do and that the laws will change to fit them... I don't think they necessarily understand the way to work with lawmakers and regulators to address current laws and systemic risks.

  4. The Serbian:

    I served my way out of trouble several times, but certainly I must be pleased with a straight-set win because both sets could have gone a different way.

  5. Chad Staples:

    There's no way we would leave the animals behind. These are family - not things.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for way

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    lacking in nutritive value
    A dicotyledonous
    B bibulous
    C jejune
    D inexpiable

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