Meaning of ROAD in English


road S1 W1 /rəʊd $ roʊd/ BrE AmE noun

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: rad 'ride, journey' ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] a specially prepared hard surface for cars, buses, bicycles etc to travel on ⇨ street , motorway , freeway

along the road

I was driving along the road when a kid suddenly stepped out in front of me.

up the road

You'll see the library a bit further up the road.

down the road

I ran down the road to see what was happening.

My sister lives just down the road.

in the road

Protestors sat down in the road to stop the lorries.

in the middle of the road

Someone was standing in the middle of the road.

across the road

I ran across the road to meet him.

by road

The college is easily accessible by road.

on the road

There are far more cars on the road now than there used to be.

There were lots of cars parked on the road.

2 . Road ( written abbreviation Rd. ) used in addresses after the names of roads and streets:

65 Maple Road

He lives on Dudley Road.

3 . on the road

a) travelling in a car, especially for long distances:

I’ve been on the road since 5:00 a.m. this morning.

b) if a group of actors or musicians are on the road, they are travelling from place to place giving performances:

They’re on the road for six months out of every year.

c) if your car is on the road, you have paid for the repairs, tax etc necessary for you to drive it legally:

It would cost too much to put it back on the road.

4 . the road to something if you are on the road to something, you will achieve it soon, or it will happen to you soon:

The doctor says she’s well on the road to recovery.

It was this deal that set him on the road to his first million.

the first step along the road to democracy

5 . go down a/this road to choose a particular course of action:

Is there any scope for going down that road in the future?

It depends which road you want to go down.

6 . along/down the road in the future, especially at a later stage in a process:

You can always upgrade a bit further down the road if you want.

Somewhere down the road, they’re going to clash.

7 . one for the road spoken a last alcoholic drink before you leave a party, ↑ pub etc

8 . road to Damascus a situation in which someone experiences a sudden and complete change in their opinions or beliefs. The phrase is based on the story in the New Testament of the Bible, in which St Paul saw a blinding light and heard God's voice while he was travelling on the road to Damascus. He immediately became a Christian.

⇨ the end of the road at ↑ end 1 (17), ⇨ hit the road at ↑ hit 1 (13)

• • •



▪ busy (=with a lot of traffic)

The children have to cross a busy road to get to school.

▪ quiet (=with little traffic)

At that time of night, the roads were quiet.

▪ clear (=with no traffic or nothing blocking it)

Before you overtake, make sure the road is clear.

▪ a main road (=an important road that is used a lot)

The main road was blocked for twenty-five minutes.

▪ a minor road

France has a huge network of minor roads.

▪ a side road/a back road (=a small road that is not used much)

He drove into a quiet side road and stopped the car.

▪ a country road

He was driving along a quiet country road when a tyre suddenly burst.

▪ a mountain road

A lot of concentration is needed on the narrow mountain roads.

▪ the coast road

He continued along the coast road.

▪ the open road (=without much traffic or anything to stop you getting somewhere)

This car is at its best on the open road.

▪ a road is open (=it is not closed or blocked)

We try to keep the mountain road open for most of the year.

▪ a road is closed

The mountain road was closed by snow.

▪ a road is blocked

The main road was blocked for an hour while police cleared the accident.

■ verbs

▪ cross a road

She was standing on the pavement waiting to cross the road.

▪ run out into a road

He had to swerve when a child ran out into the road.

▪ a road leads/goes/runs somewhere

We turned into the road leading to the village.

▪ a road winds (=it turns and curves, rather than going in a straight line)

A long road wound through the park.

▪ a road forks (=starts going ahead in two different directions)

At Salen, the road forks right and left.

▪ a road narrows/widens

After a couple of miles, the road narrows.

■ road + NOUN

▪ a road accident

Her husband was killed in a road accident.

▪ road safety

We share parents' concern for road safety.

▪ road sense (=knowledge of how to behave safely near traffic)

Young children don't have any road sense.

▪ a road junction (=place where two or more roads meet)

It was a busy road junction.

▪ a road network (=system of roads that cross or are connected to each other)

the road network in northern France

■ phrases

▪ the side of the road

We stopped and had something to eat by the side of the road.


She was standing on the other side of the road talking to my mum.

▪ the road ahead (=in front of you)

The road ahead was completely flooded.

▪ a fork in the road (=a place where a road goes in two different directions)

We had to ask for directions each time we got to a fork in the road.

• • •


■ types of road

▪ road a hard surface for cars, buses etc to drive on:

They're planning to build a new road.


My address is 42, Station Road.

▪ street a road in a town, with houses or shops on each side:

She lives on our street.


We walked along the streets of the old town.


Oxford Street is one of Europe's busiest shopping areas.


He was stopped by the police, driving the wrong way down a one-way street.


Turn left on Main Street (=the street in the middle of a town, where most of the shops are – used in American English) .


These days the same shops are on every high street (=the street in the middle of a town, where most of the shops are – used in British English) .

▪ avenue a road in a town, often with trees on each side:

the busy avenue in front of the cathedral


He lived on Park Avenue.

▪ boulevard a wide road in a city or town – used especially in street names in the US, France etc. In the UK, streets are usually called avenue rather than boulevard :

the world-famous Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

▪ lane a narrow road in the country:

a winding country lane

▪ cul-de-sac a short street which is closed at one end:

The house is situated in a quiet cul-de-sac in North Oxford.

▪ track especially British English , dirt road American English a narrow road in the country, usually without a hard surface:

The farm was down a bumpy track.

▪ ring road British English a road that goes around a town:

The airport is on the ring road.

▪ bypass British English a road that goes past a town, allowing traffic to avoid the centre:

The bypass would take heavy traffic out of the old city centre.

▪ dual carriageway British English , divided highway American English a road with a barrier or strip of land in the middle that has lines of traffic travelling in each direction:

I waited until we were on the dual carriageway before I overtook him.

▪ freeway/expressway American English a very wide road in a city or between cities, on which cars can travel very fast without stopping:

Take the Hollywood Freeway (101) south, exit at Vine Street and drive east on Franklin Avenue.


Over on the side of the expressway, he saw an enormous sedan, up against a stone wall.

▪ motorway British English , highway American English a very wide road for travelling fast over long distances:

The speed limit on the motorway is 70 miles an hour.


the Pacific Coast Highway

▪ interstate American English a road for fast traffic that goes between states:

The accident happened on Interstate 84, about 10 miles east of Hartford.

▪ toll road a road that you pay to use:

The government is planning to introduce toll roads, in an effort to cut traffic congestion.

▪ turnpike American English a large road for fast traffic that you pay to use:

He dropped her off at an entrance to the New Jersey Turnpike.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.