way ( ways plural )
1 n-count If you refer to a wayof doing something, you are referring to how you can do it, for example the action you can take or the method you can use to achieve it.
oft N of -ing, N to-inf
Another way of making new friends is to go to an evening class..., I worked myself into a frenzy plotting ways to make him jealous..., I can't think of a worse way to spend my time..., There just might be a way..., `All right, Mrs Bates,' she said. `We'll do it your way'.
2 n-count If you talk about the way someone does something, you are talking about the qualities their action has.
usu sing, usu adj N
She smiled in a friendly way..., He had a strange way of talking...
3 n-count If a general statement or description is true in a particular way, this is the form of it that is true in a particular case.
with supp, oft in N
Computerized reservation systems help airline profits in several ways..., She was afraid in a way that was quite new to her...
4 n-count You use way in expressions such as in some ways, in many ways, and in every way to indicate the degree or extent to which a statement is true.
in N with supp
In some ways, the official opening is a formality..., She described her lover as `perfect in every way'.
5 n-plural The ways of a particular person or group of people are their customs or their usual behaviour.
He denounces people who urge him to alter his ways..., He said he was against returning to old authoritarian ways.
6 n-sing If you refer to someone's way, you are referring to their usual or preferred type of behaviour.
She is now divorced and, in her usual resourceful way, has started her own business..., Direct confrontation was not his way.
7 n-count You use way to refer to one particular opinion or interpretation of something, when others are possible.
I suppose that's one way of looking at it..., With most of Dylan's lyrics, however, there are other ways of interpreting the words..., Sometimes, the bank manager just doesn't see it your way.
8 n-count You use way when mentioning one of a number of possible, alternative results or decisions.
There is no indication which way the vote could go..., The judge could have decided either way.
9 n-sing The way you feel about something is your attitude to it or your opinion about it.
I'm terribly sorry<endash>I had no idea you felt that way.
10 n-sing If you mention theway that something happens, you are mentioning the fact that it happens.
the N that
I hate the way he manipulates people..., You may remember the way each scene ended with someone looking pensive or significant.
11 n-sing You use way in expressions such as push your way, work your way, or eat your way, followed by a prepositional phrase or adverb, in order to indicate movement, progress, or force as well as the action described by the verb.
She thrust her way into the crowd..., He thought we were trying to buy our way into his company...
12 n-count Theway somewhere consists of the different places that you go through or the route that you take in order to get there.
usu the N in sing, oft N to n
Does anybody know the way to the bathroom?..., I'm afraid I can't remember the way..., We're not even a third of the way there...
13 n-sing If you go or look a particular way, you go or look in that direction.
As he strode into the kitchen, he passed Pop coming the other way..., They paused at the top of the stairs, doubtful as to which way to go next..., Could you look this way?
14 n-sing You can refer to the direction you are travelling in as your way.
SPOKEN poss N
She would say she was going my way and offer me a lift.
15 n-sing If you lose your way, you take a wrong or unfamiliar route, so that you do not know how to get to the place that you want to go to. If you find your way, you manage to get to the place that you want to go to.
The men lost their way in a sandstorm and crossed the border by mistake...
16 n-count You talk about people going their different ways in order to say that their lives develop differently and they have less contact with each other.
It wasn't until we each went our separate ways that I began to learn how to do things for myself..., You go your way and I'll go mine.
17 n-sing If something comes your way, you get it or receive it.
Take advantage of the opportunities coming your way in a couple of months..., If I run into anything that might interest you, I'll send it your way.
18 n-sing If someone or something is in theway, they prevent you from moving forward or seeing clearly.
the/poss N, in/out of N
`You're standing in the way,' she said. `Would you mind moving aside'..., Get out of my way!
19 n-sing You use way in expressions such as the right way up and the other way around to refer to one of two or more possible positions or arrangements that something can have.
The flag was held the wrong way up by some spectators..., It's important to fit it the right way round.
20 adv You can use way to emphasize, for example, that something is a great distance away or is very much below or above a particular level or amount.
ADV adv/prep (emphasis)
Way down in the valley to the west is the town of Freiburg..., These exam results are way above average...
21 n-plural If you split something a number of ways, you divide it into a number of different parts or quantities, usually fairly equal in size.
The region was split three ways, between Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria..., Splitting the price six ways had still cost them each a bundle.
Way is also a combining form., comb in adj ADJ n
...a simple three-way division.
22 n-sing Way is used in expressions such as a long way, a little way, and quite a way, to say how far away something is or how far you have travelled.
a N, usu supp N
Some of them live in places quite a long way from here..., A little way further down the lane we passed the driveway to a house...
23 n-sing Way is used in expressions such as a long way, a little way, and quite a way, to say how far away in time something is.
a N, usu supp N
Success is still a long way off..., August is still an awfully long way away.
24 n-sing You use way in expressions such as all the way, most of the way and half the way to refer to the extent to which an action has been completed.
predet/quant the N
He had unscrewed the caps most of the way..., When was the last time you listened to an album all the way through?
25 You use all the way to emphasize how long a distance is.
all the way phrase usu PHR after v, oft PHR adv/prep (emphasis)
He had to walk all the way home...
26 You can use all the way to emphasize that your remark applies to every part of a situation, activity, or period of time.
all the way phrase PHR after v (emphasis)
Having started a revolution we must go all the way...
27 If someone says that you can't have it both ways, they are telling you that you have to choose between two things and cannot do or have them both.
you can't have it both ways phrase V inflects
Countries cannot have it both ways: the cost of a cleaner environment may sometimes be fewer jobs in dirty industries...
28 You say by the way when you add something to what you are saying, especially something that you have just thought of.
by the way phrase PHR with cl
The name Latifah, by the way, means `delicate'..., By the way, how did your seminar go?
29 You use by way of when you are explaining the purpose of something that you have said or are about to say. For example, if you say something by way of an introduction, you say it as an introduction.
by way of prep-phrase PREP n
`I get very superstitious about things like that,' she said by way of explanation.
30 If someone changes their ways or mends their ways, they permanently improve their behaviour or their way of doing something.
change one's ways/mend one's ways phrase V inflects
What can be done to encourage convicted offenders to change their ways?
31 If you clear the way, open the way, or prepare the way for something, you create an opportunity for it to happen.
clear the way/open the way/prepare the way phrase V inflects, usu PHR for n
The talks are meant to clear the way for formal negotiations on a new constitution..., The decision could open the way for other children to sue their parents.
32 If you say that someone takes the easy way out, you disapprove of them because they do what is easiest for them in a difficult situation, rather than dealing with it properly.
the easy way out phrase PHR after v, v-link PHR (disapproval)
It is the easy way out to blame others for our failure.
33 You use either way in order to introduce a statement which is true in each of the two possible or alternative cases that you have just mentioned.
either way phrase PHR with cl
The sea may rise or the land may fall; either way the sand dunes will be gone in a short time.
34 If you say that a particular type of action or development is the way forward, you approve of it because it is likely to lead to success.
the way forward phrase usu v-link PHR (approval)
...people who genuinely believe that anarchy is the way forward...
35 If someone gets their way or has their way, nobody stops them doing what they want to do. You can also say that someone gets their own way or has their own way.
get one's way/have one's way/get one's own way/have one's own way phrase V inflects
She is very good at using her charm to get her way.
36 If one thing gives way to another, the first thing is replaced by the second.
give way to phrase V inflects, PHR n
First he had been numb. Then the numbness gave way to anger...
37 If an object that is supporting something gives way, it breaks or collapses, so that it can no longer support that thing.
give way phrase V inflects
The hook in the ceiling had given way and the lamp had fallen blazing on to the table.
38 If you give wayto someone or something that you have been resisting, you stop resisting and allow yourself to be persuaded or controlled by them.
give way phrase V inflects, usu PHR to n
(=give in, yield)
It seems the President has given way to pressure from the hardliners...
39 If a moving person, a vehicle, or its driver gives way, they slow down or stop in order to allow other people or vehicles to pass in front of them.
give way phrase V inflects, oft PHR to n
Give way to traffic coming from the left.
in AM, use yield
40 If you say that someone or something has a way of doing a particular thing, you mean that they often do it.
have a way of doing sth phrase V inflects, PHR -ing
Bosses have a way of always finding out about such things.
41 If you say that a person has a way with something or someone, you mean that that person seems to have a natural skill or instinct for dealing with them.
have a way with sth/sb phrase V inflects, PHR n (approval)
Constance doesn't have a way with words like you do...
42 You use in no way or not in any way to emphasize that a statement is not at all true.
in no way/not in any way phrase
A spokesman insisted the two events were `in no way related'...
43 If you say that something is true in a way, you mean that although it is not completely true, it is true to a limited extent or in certain respects. You use in a way to reduce the force of a statement.
in a way phrase PHR with cl (vagueness)
In a way, I suppose I'm frightened of failing..., It made things very unpleasant in a way.
44 If you say that someone gets in the way or is in the way, you are annoyed because their presence or their actions stop you doing something properly.
in the way phrase V inflects
`We wouldn't get in the way,' Suzanne promised. `We'd just stand quietly in a corner.'
45 To get in the wayof something means to make it difficult for it to happen, continue, or be appreciated properly.
get in the way phrase V inflects, oft PHR of n
She had a job which never got in the way of her leisure interests.
46 If you know your way around a particular subject, system, or job, or if you know your way about it, you know all the procedures and facts about it.
know one's way around sth/know one's way about sth phrase V inflects, PHR n
He knows his way around the intricate maze of European law...
47 If you lead the way along a particular route, you go along it in front of someone in order to show them where to go.
lead the way phrase V inflects
She grabbed his suitcase and led the way.
48 If a person or group leads the wayin a particular activity, they are the first person or group to do it or they make the most new developments in it.
lead the way phrase V inflects, usu PHR in -ing/n
Sony has also led the way in shrinking the size of compact-disc players.
49 If you say that someone or something has come a long way, you mean that they have developed, progressed, or become very successful.
have come a long way phrase have inflects, oft PHR since n
He has come a long way since the days he could only afford one meal a day.
50 You can use by a long way to emphasize that something is, for example, much better, worse, or bigger than any other thing of that kind.
by a long way phrase PHR with cl, compar/superl PHR (emphasis)
It was, by a long way, the worst meeting I have ever attended...
51 If you say that something is a long way from being true, you are emphasizing that it is definitely not true.
a long way from/some way from phrase v-link PHR n/-ing (emphasis)
She is a long way from being the richest person in Britain...
52 If you say that something goes a long waytowards doing a particular thing, you mean that it is an important factor in achieving that thing.
go a long way phrase V inflects, usu PHR towards/to -ing/n
Although by no means a cure, it goes a long way towards making the patient's life more tolerable.
53 If you say that someone has lost their way, you are criticizing them because they do not have any good ideas any more, or seem to have become unsure about what to do.
lose one's way phrase V inflects (disapproval)
Why has the White House lost its way on tax and budget policy?
54 When you make your way somewhere, you walk or travel there.
make one's way phrase V inflects, PHR prep/adv
He made his way home at last.
55 If one person or thing makes wayfor another, the first is replaced by the second.
make way phrase V inflects, usu PHR for n
He said he was prepared to make way for younger people in the party...
56 If you say there's no way that something will happen, you are emphasizing that you think it will definitely not happen.
there's no way phrase V inflects, usu PHR that (emphasis)
There was absolutely no way that we were going to be able to retrieve it.
57 You can say no way as an emphatic way of saying no.
no way phrase
Mike, no way am I playing cards with you for money...
58 You use in the way of or by way of in order to specify the kind of thing you are talking about.
in the way of phrase PHR n, usu amount/n PHR n
Latvia is a country without much in the way of natural resources..., Meetings held today produced little in the way of an agreement..., The man with whom she maintains a relationship provides nothing by way of support.
59 If you are on your way, you have started your journey somewhere.
be on one's way phrase V inflects, oft PHR prep/adv
He has been allowed to leave the country and is on his way to Britain..., By sunrise tomorrow we'll be on our way.
60 If something happens on the way or along the way, it happens during the course of a particular event or process.
on the way/along the way phrase
You may have to learn a few new skills along the way.
61 If you are on your way or well on your wayto something, you have made so much progress that you are almost certain to achieve that thing.
on one's way/well on one's way phrase usu v-link PHR to n/-ing
I am now out of hospital and well on the way to recovery.
62 If something is on the way, it will arrive soon.
on the way/on it's way phrase v-link PHR, with/have n PHR
The forecasters say more snow is on the way..., She is married with twin sons and a third child on the way.
63 You can use one way or another or one way or the other when you want to say that something definitely happens, but without giving any details about how it happens.
one way or another/one way or the other phrase PHR after v, PHR with cl (vagueness)
You know pretty well everyone here, one way or the other.
64 You use one way or the other or one way or another to refer to two possible decisions or conclusions that have previously been mentioned, without stating which one is reached or preferred.
one way or another/one way or the other phrase PHR after v
We've got to make our decision one way or the other..., I didn't really care one way or another.
65 You use the other way around or the other way round to refer to the opposite of what you have just said.
the other way around/the other way round phrase
You'd think you were the one who did me the favor, and not the other way around.
66 If something or someone is on the way out or on their way out, they are likely to disappear or to be replaced very soon.
on the way out phrase usu v-link PHR
There are encouraging signs that cold war attitudes are on the way out...
67 If you go out of your wayto do something, for example to help someone, you make a special effort to do it.
go out of one's way phrase V inflects, usu PHR to-inf
He was very kind to me and seemed to go out of his way to help me.
68 If you keep out of someone's way or stay out of their way, you avoid them or do not get involved with them.
keep out of sb's way/stay out of sb's way phrase V inflects
I'd kept out of his way as much as I could..., He warned the army to stay out of the way of the relief effort.
69 When something is out of the way, it has finished or you have dealt with it, so that it is no longer a problem or needs no more time spent on it.
be out of the way phrase v-link PHR, PHR after v
The plan has to remain confidential at least until the local elections are out of the way...
70 If you go your own way, you do what you want rather than what everyone else does or expects.
go one's own way phrase V inflects
In school I was a loner. I went my own way.
71 You use in the same way to introduce a situation that you are comparing with one that you have just mentioned, because there is a strong similarity between them.
in the same way phrase PHR with cl
There is no reason why a gifted aircraft designer should also be a capable pilot. In the same way, a brilliant pilot can be a menace behind the wheel of a car.
72 You can use that way and this way to refer to a statement or comment that you have just made.
that way/this way phrase PHR after v, adj PHR
Some of us have habits few people know about and we keep it this way..., We have a beautiful city and we pray it stays that way...
73 You can use that way or this way to refer to an action or situation that you have just mentioned, when you go on to mention the likely consequence or effect of it.
that way/this way phrase PHR with cl
Keep the soil moist. That way, the seedling will flourish...
74 If an activity or plan is under way, it has begun and is now taking place.
under way phrase usu v-link PHR
A full-scale security operation is now under way..., The court case got under way last autumn.
75 Every which way and any which way are used to emphasize that something happens, or might happen, in a lot of different ways, or using a lot of different methods.
(AM; also BRIT)
every/any which way phrase PHR after v, oft PHR cl (emphasis)
He re-ran the experiment every which way he could...
76 Every which way is used to emphasize that things move in a lot of different directions or are arranged in a lot of different positions.
(AM; also BRIT)
every which way phrase PHR after v (emphasis)
...cars parked every which way.
to see the error of your ways