Definition of road noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    road

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//rəʊd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//roʊd//
     
    Features of roads, Types of road
     
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  1. 1  a hard surface built for vehicles to travel on a main/major/minor road a country/mountain road They live just along/up/down the road(= further on the same road). The house is on a very busy road. He was walking along the road when he was attacked. It takes about five hours by road (= driving). It would be better to transport the goods by rail rather than by road. Take the first road on the left and then follow the signs. We parked on a side road. road accidents/safety/users Wordfinderaccelerate, brake, car, commute, driving, licence, motorist, road, road tax, traffic Wordfinderbypass, carriageway, diversion, hard shoulder, lane, lay-by, motorway, road, roundabout, signpost Cultureroads and road signsThe US road system is the largest in the world, mainly because of the long distances between cities. The distance between Boston and San Francisco, for instance, is more than 3 000 miles/ 4 827 kilometres. The US began to build the interstate highway (= fast, long-distance road) system in 1956. By 2004 it had more than 42 000 miles/67 578 kilometres of road. The interstate system greatly helped the country's economy, but it also hurt the economies of many small towns not on an interstate. Interstates running north to south have odd numbers and those going from east to west have even numbers. They often have only two or three lanes (= marked sections for lines of traffic) in each direction through the countryside but may have eight or more each way through cities. The New Jersey Turnpike, for instance, has 14 lanes each way near New York City.Other major roads in the US are called superhighways, freeways, expressways, thruways or parkways. There are also many county and local roads, called variously arterial roads, feeder roads or farm roads. Some states have tollways or turnpikes, on which drivers must pay a toll (= sum of money).Interstate highways are marked with red and blue signs showing an ‘I’ followed by the road's number. Other US highways have red, white and blue signs. Some state roads, like those in Louisiana and Texas, have signs in the shape of the state. Since 1995 states have been able to set their own speed limits. This is usually 65 or 70 mph/105 or 112 kph on interstate roads but lower on other main roads.In Britain the fastest and most direct routes between major cities are by motorways, which usually have three lanes of traffic in each direction and a speed limit of 70 mph/112 kph. Each motorway is identified by the letter ‘M’ and a number. Main roads other than motorways are called A-roads and are numbered A6, A34, etc. Some A-roads are dual carriageways with two or more lanes each way. Most A-roads now follow a bypass round towns. Narrower roads which have only one lane in each direction are called B-roads. Most roads have white lines and Catseyes(= objects sunk into the ground that reflect a car's lights) down the middle. Only a very few roads have tolls but Britain's first toll motorway, the M6 Toll, opened in 2003 as an alternative to the heavily used M6 near Birmingham. Narrow country roads below B-road standard (called unclassified roads) may be known locally by the name of the place they go to, e.g. Orston Lane. Some country roads may be single track and only wide enough for one vehicle. In this case, there are frequent passing places, where a vehicle can wait to let another through.In Britain the Highway Code describes the many signs placed beside roads. Red circular signs give instructions that must by law be obeyed. These include ‘no overtaking’ signs and signs about speed limits. Red triangular signs give warnings about possible dangers ahead, e.g. slippery roads. Direction signs to major towns are blue on motorways and green on other roads; signs to smaller places are white. Old-fashioned signposts can still be seen in some country areas.In the US red road signs, like ‘Stop’, must be obeyed. Signs that indicate danger, as in areas where rocks might fall, have a yellow diamond shape. Arrows indicating bends in the road are shown in green circles on white signs. Many other US road signs are now similar to those in Europe.In Britain there is pressure from both business and private road users for more and better roads, despite the damage to the environment and increase in pollution that this may cause. People who are against the building of new roads regularly challenge proposed routes of new motorways or bypasses. If they fail, environmentalists (= people who care specially about the environment) may set up protest camps along the route of the new road. Recently, experts too have cast doubt on the wisdom of building more roads, saying it simply encourages greater use of cars. In the US there are few protests against road-building. People generally want more roads to make their journeys faster and more convenient. See related entries: Features of roads, Types of road
  2. 2  Road (abbreviation Rd) used in names of roads, especially in towns 35 York Road More AboutroadsRoads and streets In a town or city, street is the most general word for a road with houses and buildings on one or both sides:a street map of London. Street is not used for roads between towns, but streets in towns are often called Road:Oxford Street Mile End Road. A road map of a country shows you the major routes between, around and through towns and cities. Other words used in the names of streets include: Circle, Court, Crescent, Drive, Hill and Way. Avenue suggests a wide street lined with trees. A lane is a narrow street between buildings or, in British English, a narrow country road.The high street High street is used in British English, especially as a name, for the main street of a town, where most shops, banks, etc. are:the record store in the High Street high street shops. In North American English Main Street is often used as a name for this street.Larger roads British and American English use different words for the roads that connect towns and cities. Motorways, (for example, the M57) in British English, freeways, highways or interstates, (for example State Route 347, Interstate 94, the Long Island Expressway) in North American English, are large divided roads built for long-distance traffic to avoid towns. A ring road (British English)/an outer belt (North American English) is built around a city or town to reduce traffic in the centre. This can also be called a beltway in North American English, especially when it refers to the road around Washington D.C. A bypass passes around a town or city rather than through the centre. Culturestreet namesIn Britain, main roads outside towns and cities are known by numbers rather than names. An exception is the A1 from London to north-eastern England, which is often called the Great North Road. Roads that follow the line of former Roman roads also have names, e.g. the Fosse Way. If a main road passes through a town, that part of it usually has a name, often that of the place which the road goes to, e.g. London Road.The main shopping street in a town is often called High Street, or sometimes Market Street. Many streets take their name from a local feature or building. The most common include Bridge Street, Castle Street, Church Street, Mill Street and Station Road. Some names indicate the trade that was formerly carried on in that area. Examples are Candlemaker's Row, Cornmarket, Petticoat Lane and Sheep Street. Many streets laid out in the 19th century were named after famous people or events. These include Albert Street, Cromwell Road, Shakespeare Street, Wellington Street, Trafalgar Road and Waterloo Street. When housing estates are built, the names of the new roads in them are usually all on the same theme. Names of birds or animals are popular. Others are based on the old names for the fields that the houses were built on, e.g. Tenacres Road, The Slade and Meadow Walk. The name of a road is written on signs at each end of it, sometimes together with the local postcode.Some streets have become so closely identified with people of a particular profession that the street name itself is immediately associated with them. In London, Harley Street has been associated with private doctors and Fleet Street with newspapers.In the US main roads such as interstates and highways are known by numbers. Most towns and cities are laid out on a grid pattern and have long streets with avenues crossing them. Each has a number, e.g. 7th Avenue, 42nd Street. The roads are often straight and have square blocks of buildings between them. This makes it easier to find an address and also helps people to judge distance. In Manhattan, for example, Tiffany's is described as being at East 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, i.e. on the corner of those two streets. The distance between West 90th Street and West 60th Street is 30 blocks.As well as having numbers, many streets are named after people, places, local features, history and nature. In Manhattan there is Washington Street, Lexington Avenue, Liberty Street, Church Street and Cedar Street. Some streets are named after the town to which they lead. The most important street is often called Main Street. A suburb or subdivision (= group of houses built together in a section of a city) of a city may have streets with similar names. In a subdivision of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, all the names end in ‚wood‘, e.g. Balsawood Drive, Limewood Drive and Aspenwood Drive.Some roads are called boulevards, with Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard and Miami's Biscayne Boulevard among the best known. Avenues usually cross streets, as in New York, but often the word is chosen as part of a name for no particular reason. Avenue and boulevard once indicated roads with trees along each side, but few have trees today. A road in the US is usually found outside cities, though Chicago uses the name for some central streets.Some street names have particular associations: Grant Avenue in San Francisco is associated with Chinatown, Beale Street in Memphis with the blues, and Bourbon Street in New Orleans with jazz. In New York Wall Street is associated with the financial world, Madison Avenue with advertising and Broadway with theatres.
  3. 3the way to achieving something to be on the road to recovery We have discussed privatization, but we would prefer not to go down that particular road.
  4. Word Origin Old English rād ‘journey on horseback’, ‘foray’; of Germanic origin; related to the verb ride.Extra examples A man has been stabbed to death in a road rage attack. All main roads were passable with care. Angry farmers blocked the road with their tractors. Bringing up a handicapped child can be a long and hard road. Follow the road around to the left. He walks a road filled with shadow and doubt. He was hit by a lorry as he pulled out into the main road. Huge eucalyptuses lined the road. I must have driven the back roads for half an hour. I pulled off the road for a rest. It does appear we are on the right road to success. It isn’t going to be an easy road for him. It takes three hours by road. Kaufman has opted to travel the middle road. Let’s leave when the roads are clear. My car is back on the road again. My car is back on the road= is working again. My car’s off the road at the moment while I recondition the engine. Our road branches off to the left just past the wood. Police cordoned off the road and diverted commuter traffic. Road bumps have been laid down to limit the speed of cars. Road humps have been laid down to limit the speed of cars along the road. Road tax is set to rise in next month’s budget. Road tolls can make driving expensive. Road tolls can make travelling by motorway fairly expensive. She stepped out into the road without looking. She was treated for road rash. Take the next road on the right. The airport’s near here but there’s no direct road. The car left the road and slid to a halt. The crowd eventually cleared the road. The crowds lined the roads for his triumphal entry. The following spring I hit the road. The government’s policy on education is a dead-end road. The house across the road is for sale. The new ring road should reduce city centre traffic. The road ascends steeply from the harbour. The road crosses the river further up the valley. The road narrowed and turned into this dirt trail. The road runs parallel to the river. The road stretches off into the distance. The road twists and turns up the hillside. The track joins the main road just south of the town. There is still no road access to the island. There was a dog in the road so we stopped. There was a lot of traffic on the road this morning. There’s something lying on the road. They cleared the roads of snow. They have travelled/​traveled the long, lonely road of exclusion. They live down the road from us. They stopped in a forest, leaving the main road. This latest disagreement could mean the end of the road for the band. Traffic clogs the roads. Turn left onto the coastal road. Turn right into Harpes Road. We came to a fork in the road. We have chosen the road of peace. We have discussed privatization, but we would prefer not to go down that road. We live in Pinsley Road. We live in/​on Kingston Road. We took the wrong road and had to turn back. We’d been on the road since dawn and needed a rest. We’ll be able to go faster once we’re out on the open road. Where does this road go? a bumpy road through the forest a notoriously dangerous stretch of road loans for road construction and infrastructure development on the road to Damascus poor driving standards and lack of road manners the building of new roads the cost of road maintenance the main road through the centre of town the old dirt road to the village the road connecting Irado and Calla Ayda the road stretched out before them. the surrounding road system to be on the road to recovery/​success A major road crosses the region. A man was seriously injured in a road rage incident. A man’s body was lying in the road. Do you have a road map with you? Exhausted, he sat down at the side of the road. Go along the road until you reach an intersection. I wished him luck in whatever road he decided to follow. It would be better to go by road. It’s a quiet residential road. It’s difficult to cross the road safely around here. My mother lives down the road. Now the roads are even more congested. Road users are protesting about increases in road tax. Road works on the Darlington to Durham road are causing delays. She lives on a very busy road. She set out on the road to stardom too early in life. The aim is to reduce the number of road accidents. The children learn about road safety. The condition of the road surface is poor. The economy is well on the road to recovery. The main north-south road was closed because of flooding. Their road building program was abandoned because of lack of funds. There are several different roads to achieving career success. There was a cow sitting right in the middle of the road. There’s a shop just up the road. They followed the coastal road for about 50 miles. They seem to be on the road to ruin. We couldn’t read the road signs. We drove along country roads. We took a narrow twisting road up into the mountains. We would prefer not to go down that particular road.Idioms
    (further) along/down the road
     
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    at some time in the future There are certain to be more job losses further down the road.
    (further) along/down the road
     
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    at some time in the future There are certain to be more job losses further down the road.
    (Northern British English) = anyway
    (reach) the end of the line/road
     
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    (to reach) the point at which something can no longer continue in the same way A defeat in the second round marked the end of the line for last year's champion.
    get the show on the road
     
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    (informal) to start an activity or a journey Let's get this show on the road!
    (informal) to start a journey/trip (informal) a last alcoholic drink before you leave a party, etc.
    1. 1travelling, especially for long distances or periods of time The band has been on the road for six months. I’ve been on the road since six this morning.
    2. 2(of a car) in good condition so that it can be legally driven It will cost about £500 to get the car back on the road. See related entries: Driving
    3. 3moving from place to place, and having no permanent home Life on the road can be very hard.
    the road to hell is paved with good intentions
     
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    (saying) it is not enough to intend to do good things; you must actually do them
    where the rubber meets the road
     
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    (North American English) the point at which something is tested and you really find out whether it is successful or true Here's where the rubber meets the road: will consumers actually buy the product?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: road