the way

Also found in: Idioms, Wikipedia.


a. A road, path, or highway affording passage from one place to another.
b. An opening affording passage: This door is the only way into the attic.
a. Space to proceed: cleared the way for the parade.
b. Opportunity to advance: opened the way to peace.
a. A course that is or may be used in going from one place to another: tried to find the shortest way home.
b. Progress or travel along a certain route or in a specific direction: on her way north.
c. often ways(Used with a sing. verb) Informal Distance: The travelers have come a long way. That village is a good ways off.
a. A course of conduct or action: tried to take the easy way out of the mess he was in.
b. A manner or method of doing something: several ways of solving this problem; had no way to reach her. See Synonyms at method.
c. Used with a personal pronoun as the object of various verbs to indicate progress toward an objective: elbowed his way through the crowd; talked my way into the club; worked his way into a better job.
d. A usual or habitual manner or mode of being, living, or acting: the American way of life.
e. An individual or personal manner of behaving, acting, or doing: Have it your own way.
a. A specific direction: He glanced my way.
b. A participant. Often used in combination: a three-way conversation.
a. An aspect, particular, or feature: resembles his father in many ways; in no way comparable.
b. Nature or category: not much in the way of a plot.
7. Freedom to do as one wishes: if I had my way.
8. An aptitude or facility: She certainly does have a way with words.
9. A state or condition: He is in a bad way financially.
10. Vicinity: Drop in when you're out our way.
11. often ways A longitudinal strip on a surface that serves to guide a moving machine part.
12. ways(used with a sing. or pl. verb) Nautical The structure on which a ship is built and from which it slides when launched.
1. Informal By a great distance or to a great degree; far: way off base; way too expensive.
2. Slang Very; extremely: "Can they really make a car that's way cool?" (Fortune).
3. Informal From this place; away: Go way.
4. Informal Used in response to no way to indicate affirmation contradicting a negative assertion.
all the way
From beginning to end; completely: drove all the way from Detroit to Pittsburgh.
by the way
Incidentally: By the way, you forgot to cash that check.
by way of
1. Through; via: flew to the Far East by way of the polar route.
2. As a means of: made no comment by way of apology.
go out of (one's)/the way
To inconvenience oneself in doing something beyond what is required.
in a way
1. To a certain extent; with reservations: I like the new styles, in a way.
2. From one point of view: In a way, you're right.
in the way
In a position to obstruct, hinder, or interfere.
no way Informal
Certainly not: Did you like that movie?—No way! It was boring.
on (one's)/the way
In the process of coming, going, or traveling: She is on her way out the door. Winter is on the way.
on the way
On the route of a journey: met him on the way to town; ran into them on the way.
out of the way
1. In such a position as not to obstruct, hinder, or interfere.
2. Taken care of; disposed of: some details to get out of the way first.
3. In a remote location.
4. Of an unusual character; remarkable.
5. Improper; amiss: said nothing out of the way.
the way
In the manner that: The way he talks, you'd think he ran the company.
under way
1. In motion or operation.
2. In ongoing development; in progress.

[Middle English, from Old English weg; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: Way has long been an intensifying adverb meaning "to a great degree," as in way over budget. This usage is both acceptable and common but has an informal ring. Way is also used as a general intensifier, as in way cool and way depressing. This usage remains a hallmark of casual speech and is not appropriate for formal contexts. · In American English ways is often used as an equivalent of way in phrases such as a long ways to go. This usage is considered nonstandard by most editors, though it appears occasionally in less formal texts.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


asthe way
1. used as conjunctions

You can use like, as, or the way as conjunctions when you are comparing one person's behaviour or appearance to another's. In the clause which follows the conjunction, the verb is usually do.

For example, you can say 'He walked to work every day, like his father had done', 'He walked to work every day, as his father had done', or 'He walked to work every day, the way his father had done'.

I never behave like she does.
They were people who spoke and thought as he did.
Start lending things, the way people did in the war.
2. used as prepositions

Like and as can be prepositions, but their meaning is not usually the same. For example, if you do something like a particular kind of person, you do it the way that kind of person would do it, although you are not that kind of person.

We worked like slaves.

If you do something as a particular kind of person, you are that kind of person.

Over the summer she worked as a waitress.
I can only speak as a married man without children.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
References in classic literature ?
By dawn he was tricked out for his raid, but he caught a glimpse of Pudd'nhead Wilson through the window over the way, and knew that Pudd'nhead had caught a glimpse of him.
A man with a full stomach and the respect of his fellows had no business to scold about anything that he might think to be wrong in the ways of the universe, or even with the ways of society.
But for this, while I should chide him I cannot do so, for of all the ways David has of making me to love him the most poignant is that he expects it of me as a matter of course.
When the traffic lights failed at Five Ways on Monday, April 29, motorists faced queues backing up the Hagley Road all the way to Quinton and a journey of 50 minutes for just a couple of miles - even with the underpass open.
DREAM DATE An all-ages show is the way to go with Scorpio.
But something happens along the way when they find out they can't all be ballerinas--because they don't have the right teacher, the body, the musicality, the stick-to-it-ive-ness, the parental support, the money, or the luck, or maybe the passion for doing it just subsides.
We try to discover what works best for each student's individual learning style, and determine the appropriate level of challenge at each step of the way. Beside the immediate goals of preparing for a recital, contest or theory exam, our ultimate goal is to give them the tools to become independent learners, and prepare them for a lifetime of musical growth and enjoyment.
Just as the ModelT ultimately transformed American life, ERM can bring about a permanent and valuable change in the way insurers do business--provided they are clear about what it can do now, and what it can do when an adequate infrastructure is built for it.
One longtime administrator who was present for the session remarked to me: "The way it used to work, you were lucky if someone pulled you aside and talked to you about these issues.
We're stuck three inches from the screen, receiving the information that "this is the way it happened; she did it because she's incompetent and because she hates me, and what she did is unforgivable." When we step away from the screen, and watch the movie from further back, or from the projection booth, we might notice different things.
For those of us constantly looking for better ways of using our mind and body, it seems strange that an apparently vast portion of the population has no interest or motivation to do anything to improve the way they do things.
By rearranging the way appointments were made, they reduced patient wait time by 1,400 hours per day, freeing up over 100 parking spaces, and eliminating the need for a new parking structure.