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

  • n. The right to pass over property owned by another party.
  • n. The path or thoroughfare on which such passage is made.
  • n. The strip of land over which facilities such as highways, railroads, or power lines are built.
  • n. The customary or legal right of a person, vessel, or vehicle to pass in front of another.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The right to proceed first in traffic.
  • n. A legal right of passage over another's land or pathways.
  • n. A legal easement granted for the construction of a roadway or railway.
  • n. Land on which a right of way exists.
  • n. The area modified for passage of a railway; often specifically the railbed and tracks.
  • n. The priority granted to the first person to properly execute an attack.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a right of private passage over another's ground. It may arise either by grant or prescription. It may be attached to a house, entry, gate, well, or city lot, as well as to a country farm.

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

  • n. the privilege of someone to pass over land belonging to someone else
  • n. the passage consisting of a path or strip of land over which someone has the legal right to pass
  • n. the right of one vehicle or vessel to take precedence over another


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I have established a right of way through the centre of old Middleton's park, slap across it, sir, within a hundred yards of his own front door.

    The Seriously Deranged Writer and the Model Cars

  • No, the migration could not continue south; no, the German people could not have a right of way through any Roman territory or province; no, Spain was not a feasible destination unless they intended to confine themselves to Lusitania and Cantabria, for the rest of Spain was Roman.

    The First Man in Rome

  • Like the smallcraft, they could position themselves for right of way over warships.

    On Yankee Station

  • One of these fields was used by the College for hockey, but all the others belonged to farmers, and there was a right of way across to the College stile from the moorland highway, now an almost unused track since the stone-quarries there had been abandoned.

    Laurels are Poison

  • Carefully Jackson drew back his men to take full advantage of the higher ground and of the right of way of an unfinished railroad cut north of the Warrenton Turnpike.


  • Paraguay, concerning Brazil's right of way upon the Parana River, the claim of Brazil being based upon the fact that the river has its origin within her boundaries.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • The barranca is the site of the ancient right of way that in the time of private property in land ran across the holding of one Chauvet, a French pioneer of California who came from his native country in the fabled days of gold.

    Chapter 18: The Shadow of Sonoma

  • In accordance with the law of the sea, these little vessels had the right of way over a man-of-war.

    On Yankee Station


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