out of the way

Idioms & Phrases

out of the way

  1. Not obstructing, hindering, or interfering, as in This chair is out of the way now, so you won't trip. This phrase also appears in get out of the (or one's) way, as in Would you please get your coat out of the way? or Get your car out of my way. [Mid-1500s]

  2. Taken care of, disposed of, as in I'm glad we got these details out of the way.

  3. In a remote location, as in This restaurant is a little out of the way. [Mid-1300s]

  4. Unusual, remarkable, as in It was out of the way for him to praise his staff. [Second half of 1500s]

  5. Amiss, in error, improper, as in The security guard checked all the locks and saw nothing out of the way. [Early 1200s] Also see go out of one's way.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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