The belt way


Also called belt highway. a highway around the perimeter of an urban area.
the Beltway, the Washington, D.C., area within the highway that encircles it.

1950–55; belt + way Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beltway (ˈbɛltˌweɪ)
1.  the usual US name for a ring road
2.  (usually with capital)
 a.  the people and institutions located in the area bounded by the Washington Beltway, taken to be politically and socially out of touch with the rest of America and much given to political intrigue
 b.  (as modifier): Beltway Cassandras

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

term in U.S. for a ring highway around an urban area, especially Interstate 495 around Washington, D.C., the Capital Beltway, completed 1964. Figurative for "Washington, D.C., and its culture" for better or worse, since c.1978.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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