Word Origin & History
O.E. heiweg "main road from one town to another;" highwayman "one who travels the highways with intent to rob people" (often on horseback and thus contrasted to a footpad) is from 1649. High street (O.E. heahstræte) was the word before 17c. applied to highways and main roads, whether in the country
or town, especially one of the Roman roads. In more recent usage, it generally is the proper name of the street of a town which is built upon a highway and was the principal street of the place.