Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The drift of a ship or an aircraft to leeward of the course being steered.
  • n. A margin of freedom or variation, as of activity, time, or expenditure; latitude. See Synonyms at room.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The drift of a ship or airplane in a leeward direction.
  • n. A varying degree or amount of freedom or flexibility; margin, latitude, elbowroom.
  • n. An adverse discrepancy or variation in a cumulative process, usually in make up leeway.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The lateral movement of a ship to the leeward of her course; drift.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The lateral movement of a ship to the leeward of her course, or the angle formed between the line of the ship's keel and the line which she actually describes through the water; the deviation from her true course which a vessel makes by drifting to leeward.
  • n. Hence Loss of progress in general; a falling behind; retrogression: as, to be making leeway financially.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits
  • n. (of a ship or plane) sideways drift

Etymologies

lee (“side away from the wind”) +‎ way (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It does help to know that period of leeway is built in; it helps me to let go of that polished draft for the first time.

    Being Done by Victoria Janssen

  • Where I am allowed considerable leeway is in expanding situations and characters.

    SF Signal Gang-Interviews Alan Dean Foster

  • • Despite official promises that higher limits would be more strictly enforced, we're getting more leeway from the police, who all but ignore speeders 10 to 15 mph over the limit.

    USATODAY.com - Speeders outgun new limits

  • Firstly, that while we have certain leeway in selecting the tasks for our troops within the alliance, we have not full licence to dictate the type of weapons our troops are to use in carrying out these commitments.

    The Future of Canadian Defence in the Nuclear Era

  • That the US or other place stays mum and gives leeway is another issue entirely.

    Past incorrect posts on "Dual Citizenship"

  • The break-up fee would give Deutsche Telekom some short-term leeway but won't resolve its longer-term financial issues.

    Reuters: Press Release

  • From the Speaker's chair the main problems are: to control the order of speaking and to assure to all their right to speak within the rules; to stop members, except the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition when the allowed 40 minutes have expired; to enforce reasonable relevance in the discussion -- special leeway is given in "maiden speeches"; to stop abusive and unparliamentary language; to secure a hearing and generally to preserve order and dignity; and most important to bring the matter to a decision and to declare the result.

    The House of Commons from the Speaker's Chair

  • I’d rather believe that having more leeway is a good thing and that’s all there is to it, but …. datingjesus

    RIP, Mike Penner « Dating Jesus

  • The cartooniness gives them more leeway, which is fine with me cause this game is going to be great no matter what.

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - Slew of new Spore screens

  • Further limiting the leeway is the fact that the state government conducts an audit of each county's assessments each year.

    Aspen Times - Top Stories

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Comments

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  • You may find that you have less
    independence and leeway at work and this could make you irritable and agitated. Be careful when making business or financial decisions as someone with a hidden agenda may be exerting influence.

    April 17, 2011