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[fair-wey] /ˈfɛərˌweɪ/
an unobstructed passage, way, or area.
  1. the part of the course where the grass is cut short between the tees and the putting greens, exclusive of the rough, trees, and hazards:
    More important than long drives is keeping your ball on the fairway.
  2. the mowed part of any hole between the tee and the green:
    The foursome is now on the tenth fairway.
  1. the navigable portion of a river, harbor, or other partly enclosed body of water.
  2. the channel customarily navigated by vessels in such a body of water.
Origin of fairway
1515-25; 1905-10 for def 2; fair1 + way1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fairway
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Such "swells" there were that out in the fairway, my little cockle-shell boat was wellnigh swamped.

    The Journal of a Disappointed Man Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion
  • With Lily beside him, he gained the level ground of the fairway.

    Lady Luck Hugh Wiley
  • Hamlet must have felt much as I did when his father's ghost bobbed up in the fairway.

    My Man Jeeves P. G. Wodehouse
  • They stood in the fairway of passengers, and their faces were extremely grave.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • She was lifted bodily by Mr. fairway's arm, which had been flung round her waist before she had become aware of his intention.

    Return of the Native Thomas Hardy
  • Then I had to look at the river mighty quick, because there was a snag in the fairway.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • Colored sectors are sometimes used over portions of the field, in order to indicate dangers, and white light shows in the fairway.

    Artificial Light M. Luckiesh
  • He asked the captain to move a little as, so he said, they were in the fairway.

    The American Egypt Channing Arnold
British Dictionary definitions for fairway


(on a golf course) the areas of shorter grass between the tees and greens, esp the avenue approaching a green bordered by rough
  1. the navigable part of a river, harbour, etc
  2. the customary course followed by vessels
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fairway

1580s, "navigational channel of a river," from fair (adj.) + way (n.). Golfing sense is from 1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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