Definition of way noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    way

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//weɪ//
     
     
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    method/style
  1. 1[countable] a method, style, or manner of doing something way to do something That's not the right way to hold a pair of scissors. (informal) (disapproving) That's no way to speak to your mother! way of doing something I'm not happy with this way of working. way (that…) It's not what you say, it's the way that you say it. Ihate the way she always criticizes me. I told you we should have done it my way! Infectious diseases can be acquired in several ways. I generally get what I want one way or another (= by some means). see also third way
  2. behavior
  3. 2 [countable] a particular manner or style of behavior They grinned at her in a friendly way. It was not his way to admit that he had made a mistake. Don't worry if she seems quiet—it's just her way. He was showing off,as is the way with adolescent boys.
  4. 3ways [plural] the typical way of behaving and living of a particular group of people After ten years I'm used to the strange British ways.
  5. route/road
  6. 4 [countable, usually singular] way (from…) (to…) a route or road that you take in order to reach a place the best/quickest/shortest way from A to B Can you tell me the way to Times Square? to ask someone the way We went the long way around.
  7. 5[countable, usually singular] the route along which someone or something is moving; the route that someone or something would take if there was nothing stopping them/it Get out of my way!I'm in a hurry. Riot police with shields were blocking the demonstrators' way. We fought our way through the dense vegetation. Unfortunately they ran into a snowstorm along the way. see also right of way
  8. 6[countable] a road, path, or street for traveling along There's a way across the fields. see also freeway, highway, railway, waterway
  9. 7Way used in the names of streets 106 Headley Way
  10. direction
  11. 8 [countable, usually singular] which, this, that, etc. way a particular direction; in a particular direction Which way did they go? We just missed a car going the other way. Look both ways (= look left and right) before crossing the road. Make sure that sign is the right way up. Kids were running this way and that (= in all directions). They decided to split the money four ways (= between four different people). (figurative) Which way (= for which party) are you going to vote? see also one-way, three-way, two-way
  12. for entering/leaving
  13. 9[countable, usually singular] a means of going into or leaving a place, such as a door or gate the way in/out They escaped out the back way. see also companionway
  14. distance/time
  15. 10[singular] (informal ways) a distance or period of time between two points A little way up on the left is the Museum of Modern Art. September was a long way off. (figurative) The area's wine industry still has a way to go to full maturity. You came all this way to see us? (informal) We still have a ways to go.
  16. area
  17. 11 [singular] (informal) an area, a part of a country, etc. I think he lives somewhere overChicago way. I'll stop by and see you next time I'm down your way.
  18. aspect
  19. 12[countable] a particular aspect of something synonym respect I have changed in every way. It's been quite a day,one way and another (= for several reasons).
  20. condition/state
  21. 13[singular] a particular condition or state The economy's in a bad way. I don't know how we're going to manage,the way things are.
  22. Idioms
    across the way
     
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    on the other side of the street, etc. Music blared from the open window of the house across the way.
      all the way
       
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    1. 1(also the whole way) during the whole journey/period of time She didn't speak a word to me all the way back home.
    2. 2completely; as much as it takes to achieve what you want I'm fighting him all the way. You can feel that the audience is with her all the way.
    (that's/it's) always the way(informal)
     
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    used to say that things often happen in a particular manner, especially when it is not convenient
    any way you slice it(informal)
     
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    however you choose to look at a situation
    be/be born/be made that way
     
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    (of a person) to behave or do things in a particular manner because it is part of your character It's not his fault he's so pompous—he was born that way.
      be (all) downhill,be downhill all the way(informal)
       
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    1. 1to be easy compared to what came before It's all downhill from here. We'll soon be finished.
    2. 2to become worse or less successful It's been all downhill for his career since then, with four defeats in five games. I started work as a journalist and it was downhill all the way for my health.
    be set in your ways
     
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    to have habits or opinions that you have had for a long time and that you do not want to change
    be well on the way to something/doing something
     
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    to have nearly achieved something and be going to achieve it soon She is well on the way to recovery. He is well on the way to establishing himself among the top ten players in the world.
    by the way(also by the by/bye)(informal)
     
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    used to introduce a comment or question that is not directly related to what you have been talking about By the way, I found that book you were looking for. What time is it, by the way? Oh, by the way, if you see Jackie, tell her I'll call her tonight.
    by way of something
     
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    by a route that includes the place mentioned synonym via The artist recently arrived in Paris from Bulgaria by way of Vienna. She came to TV by way of drama school.
    by way of/in the way of something
     
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    as a form of something; for something; as a means of something He received $6000 by way of compensation from the company. She rolled her eyes by way of an answer and left.
    change your ways
     
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    to start to live or behave in a different way from before He was in trouble with the police as a teenager but now he's completely changed his ways.
    claw your way back, into something, out of something, to something, etc.
     
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    to gradually achieve something or move somewhere by using a lot of determination and effort She clawed her way to the top of her profession. Slowly, he clawed his way out from under the collapsed building.
    clear the way (for something/for something to happen)
     
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    to remove things that are stopping the progress or movement of something The ruling could clear the way for extradition proceedings.
    come your way
     
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    to happen to you by chance, or when you were not expecting it He took whatever came his way.
    cut both/two ways
     
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    (of an action, argument, etc.) to have two opposite effects or results
    either way,one way or the other
     
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    used to say that it does not matter which one of two possibilities happens, is chosen, or is true Was it his fault or not? Either way, an explanation is due. We could meet today or tomorrow—I don't mind one way or the other.
    every which way(informal)
     
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    in all directions Her hair tumbled every which way.
      feel your way
       
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    1. 1to move along carefully, for example when it is dark, by touching walls, objects, etc.
    2. 2 to be careful about how you do things, usually because you are in a situation that you are not familiar with She was new to the job, still feeling her way.
    find your way (around)
     
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    to become able to act independently and with confidence I only recently joined the company so I'm still finding my way.
    find your way (to…)
     
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    to discover the right route (to a place) I hope you can find your way home.
    find your/its way (to/into…)
     
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    to come to a place or a situation by chance or without intending to He eventually found his way into acting.
    get in the way of
     
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    to prevent someone from doing something; to prevent something from happening He wouldn't allow emotions to get in the way of him doing his job.
    get/have your own way
     
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    to get or do what you want, especially when someone has tried to stop you She always gets her own way in the end.
    to break or fall down The pillars gave way and a section of the roof collapsed. Her numb leg gave way beneath her and she stumbled clumsily.
    give way (to somebody/something)
     
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    to stop resisting someone or something; to agree to do something that you do not want to do He refused to give way on any of the points.
      give way to something
       
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    1. 1to allow yourself to be very strongly affected by something, especially an emotion Flinging herself on the bed, she gave way to helpless misery.
    2. 2to be replaced by something The storm gave way to bright sunshine. As he drew nearer, his anxiety gave way to relief.
    go all the way (with somebody)(informal)
     
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    to have full sexual intercourse with someone
    go back a long way
     
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    (of two or more people) to have known each other for a long time We go back a long way, he and I.
    go a long/some way toward doing something
     
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    to help very much/a little in achieving something The new law goes a long way toward solving the problem.
    go out of your way (to do something)
     
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    to make a special effort to do something He would always go out of his way to be friendly toward her.
    go your own way
     
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    to do as you choose, especially when someone has advised you against it It's best to let her go her own way if you don't want a fight.
      go your separate ways
       
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    1. 1to end a relationship with someone When the business was sold they went their separate ways.
    2. 2to go in a different direction from someone you have been traveling with
      go somebody's way
       
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    1. 1to travel in the same direction as someone I'm going your way—I'll walk with you.
    2. 2(of events) to go well for you; to be in your favor By the third round he knew the fight was going his way.
    go the way of all flesh(saying)
     
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    to die
    the hard way
     
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    by having an unpleasant experience or by making mistakes She won't listen to my advice so she'll just have to learn the hard way.
    have/want it both ways
     
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    to have or want to have the advantages of two different situations or types of behavior that are impossible to combine You can't have it both ways. If you can afford to go out all the time, you can afford to pay off some of your debts.
    have it/things/everything your own way
     
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    to have what you want, especially by opposing other people
    have it your (own) way!(informal)
     
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    used to say in an angry manner that although you are not happy about something that someone has said, you are not going to argue Oh OK, then. Have it your own way.
    have a way of doing something
     
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    used to say that something often happens in a particular manner, especially when it is out of your control First love affairs have a way of not working out.
    have a way with somebody/something
     
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    to be good at dealing with someone or something He has a way with small children. She has a way with words (= is very good at expressing herself).
    in any (way,) shape or form(informal)
     
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    of any type I don't approve of violence in any shape or form.
    in a big/small way
     
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    on a large/small scale The new delivery service has taken off in a big way. Many people are investing in a small way in the stock market.
    (be/get) in the family way(old-fashioned)(informal)
     
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    (to be/become) pregnant
    in more ways than one
     
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    used to show that a statement has more than one meaning With the first goal he used his head in more ways than one.
    in your own sweet time/way
     
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    how and when you want to, even though this might annoy other people He always does the work, but in his own sweet time.
    in her, his, its, etc. (own) way
     
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    in a manner that is appropriate to or typical of a person or thing but that may seem unusual to other people I expect she does love you in her own way. The building is very attractive in its own way.
    in a way,in one way,in some ways
     
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     to some extent; not completely In a way it was one of our biggest mistakes.
    in the/somebody's way
     
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    stopping someone from moving or doing something You'll have to move—you're in my way. I left them alone, as I felt I was in the way.
    in the way of something
     
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    used in questions and negative sentences to talk about the types of something that are available There isn't much in the way of entertainment in this place.
    keep/stay out of somebody's way
     
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    to avoid someone
    know your way around
     
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    to be familiar with a place, subject, etc.
    laugh all the way to the bank(informal)
     
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    to make a lot of money easily and feel very pleased about it
    lie your way into/out of something
     
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    to get yourself into or out of a situation by lying
    look the other way
     
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    to deliberately avoid seeing someone or something Prison officers know what's going on, but look the other way.
      lose your way
       
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    1. 1to become lost We lost our way in the dark.
    2. 2to forget or move away from the purpose or reason for something I feel that the project has lost its way.
    make your way (to/toward something)
     
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    to move or get somewhere; to make progress Will you be able to make your own way to the airport (= get there without help, a ride, etc.)? Is this your plan for making your way in the world?
    make way (for somebody/something)
     
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    to allow someone or something to pass; to allow someone or something to take the place of someone or something Make way for the governor! Tropical forest is felled to make way for grassland.
    mend your ways
     
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    to stop behaving badly
    (steer, take, etc.) a middle course,(find, etc.) a/the middle way
     
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    (to take/find) an acceptable course of action that avoids two extreme positions
    (there are) no two ways about it(saying)
     
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    used to show that you are certain about something It was the wrong decision—there are no two ways about it.
    (there is) no way(informal)
     
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    used to say that there is no possibility that you will do something or that something will happen “Do you want to help?” “No way!” No way am I going to drive them there. There's no way we could afford that sort of money.
      on your/the/its way
       
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    1. 1going or coming I'd better be on my way (= I must leave) soon. The letter should be on its way to you.
    2. 2during the journey He stopped for breakfast on the way. She grabbed her camera and bag on her way out.
    3. 3(of a baby) not yet born They've got three kids and one on the way.
    open the way for somebody/something (to do something)
     
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    to make it possible for someone to do something or for something to happen The agreement could open the way for the country to pay off its debts.
      the other way around
       
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    1. 1 in the opposite position, direction, or order I think it should go on the other way around.
    2. 2 the opposite situation I didn't leave you. It was the other way around (= you left me).
    out of harm's way
     
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    in a safe place where someone or something cannot be hurt or injured or do any damage to someone or something She put the knife in a drawer, out of harm's way. I prefer the children to play in the garden where they're out of harm's way.
      out of the way
       
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    1. 1 no longer stopping someone from moving or doing something I moved my legs out of the way so that she could get past. I didn't say anything until Dad was out of the way.
    2. 2finished; dealt with Our region is poised for growth once the election is out of the way.
    3. 3used in negative sentences to mean “unusual” She had obviously noticed nothing out of the way. see also out-of-the-way
    out of your way
     
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    not on the route that you planned to take I'd love a ride home—if it's not out of your way.
    a/the parting of the ways
     
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    a point at which two people or groups of people decide to separate These events led to a final parting of the ways.
    pave the way (for somebody/something)
     
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    to create a situation in which someone will be able to do something or something can happen This decision paved the way for changes in employment rights for women.
    pay its way
     
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    (of a business, etc.) to make enough money to pay what it costs to keep it going The bridge is still not paying its way.
    pick your way (across, along, among, over, through something)
     
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    to walk carefully, choosing the safest, driest, etc. place to put your feet She picked her way delicately over the rough ground.
    rub somebody the wrong way(informal)
     
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    to make someone annoyed or angry, often without intending to, by doing or saying something that offends them She tends to rub people the wrong way.
    see, realize, etc. the error of your ways(formal or humorous)
     
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    to realize or admit that you have done something wrong and decide to change your behavior
    see your way (clear) to doing something/to do something
     
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    to find that it is possible or convenient to do something Small companies cannot see their way clear to taking on many interns.
    see which way the wind is blowing
     
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    to get an idea of what is likely to happen before doing something
    show the way
     
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    to do something first so that other people can follow
    smooth the path/way
     
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    to make it easier for someone or something to develop or make progress These negotiations are intended to smooth the path to a peace treaty. We're trying to smooth the way for women who want to resume their careers.
    (not) stand in somebody's way
     
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    to (not) prevent someone from doing something If you believe you can make her happy, I won't stand in your way.
    take the easy way out
     
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    to end a difficult situation by choosing the simplest solution even if it is not the best one He took the easy way out and didn't go to the meeting.
    take something the wrong way
     
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    to be offended by a remark that was not intended to be offensive She always takes things the wrong way.
    talk your way out of something/of doing something
     
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    to make excuses and give reasons for not doing something; to manage to get yourself out of a difficult situation I managed to talk my way out of having to give a speech.
    that's the way the cookie crumbles(informal)
     
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    that is the situation and we cannot change it, so we must accept it
    there's more than one way to skin a cat(saying)(humorous)
     
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    there are many different ways to achieve something
    to my way of thinking
     
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    in my opinion
    under way(also underway)
     
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    having started Preparations are well under way for a week of special events in May.
    a way into something(also a way in to something)
     
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    something that allows you to join a group of people, an industry, etc. that it is difficult to join, or to understand something that is difficult to understand
    a/the/somebody's way of life
     
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    the typical pattern of behavior of a person or group the American way of life
    the way of the world
     
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    the way that most people behave; the way that things happen, which you cannot change The rich and powerful make the decisions—that's the way of the world.
    my way or the highway(informal)
     
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    used to say that someone else has either to agree with your opinion or to leave
    ways and means
     
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    the methods and materials available for doing something ways and means of raising money
    way to go!(informal)
     
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    used to tell someone that you are pleased about something they have done Good work, guys! Way to go!
    the way to somebody's heart
     
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    the way to make someone like or love you The way to a man's heart is through his stomach (= by giving him good food).
    where there's a will there's a way(saying)
     
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    if you really want to do something then you will find a way of doing it
    work your way through something
     
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    to do something from beginning to end, especially when it takes a lot of time or effort She worked her way through the pile of documents.
    work your way through college, around the world, etc.
     
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    to have a job or series of jobs while studying, traveling, etc. in order to pay for your education, etc.
    work your way up
     
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    to move regularly to a more senior position in a company He worked his way up from messenger boy to account executive.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: way