Etymology: Middle English, from Old English weg; akin to Old High German weg way, Old English wegan to move, Latin vehere to carry, via way
Date: before 12th century
a. a thoroughfare for travel or transportation from place to place
b. an opening for passage <this door is the only way out of the room> 2. the course traveled from one place to another ; route <asked the way to the museum> 3. a. a course (as a series of actions or sequence of events) leading in a direction or toward an objective <led the way to eventual open heart operations — Current Biography> b. (1) a course of action <took the easy way out> (2) opportunity, capability, or fact of doing as one pleases <always manages to get her own way> c. a possible decision, action, or outcome ; possibility <they were rude—no two ways about it> 4. a. manner or method of doing or happening <admired her way of thinking>; also method of accomplishing ; means <that's the way to do it> b. feature, respect <in no way resembles her mother> c. a usually specified degree of participation in an activity or enterprise <active in real estate in a small way> 5. a. characteristic, regular, or habitual manner or mode of being, behaving, or happening <knows nothing of the ways of women> b. ability to get along well or perform well <she has a way with kids> <a way with words> 6. the length of a course ; distance <has come a long way in her studies> <still have a way to go> 7. movement or progress along a course <worked her way up the corporate ladder> 8. a. direction <is coming this way> b. participant — usually used in combination <three-way discussion> 9. state of affairs ; condition, state <that's the way things are> 10. a. plural but sometimes singular in construction an inclined structure upon which a ship is built or supported in launching b. plural the guiding surfaces on the bed of a machine along which a table or carriage moves 11. category, kind — usually used in the phrase in the way of <doesn't require much in the way of expensive equipment — Forbes> 12. motion or speed of a ship or boat through the water Synonyms: see method II. adjective Date: 1799 of, connected with, or constituting an intermediate point on a route III. adverb Date: 1849 1. a. away 7 <is way ahead of the class> b. by far ; much <ate way too much> c. very 2 <way cool> <way excited> 2. all the way <pull the switch way back>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.