Definition of bypass in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbʌɪpɑːs/


1A road passing round a town or its centre to provide an alternative route for through traffic.
Example sentences
  • The opportunity of providing a town centre bypass along the former railway line to the east of the buildings in High Street has now disappeared.
  • In my view the money could be much better spent and still leave more than enough to build a first class safe road with bypasses of major towns such as Castledermot and Carlow.
  • It would have saved expensive town bypasses, additional roads and parking facilities, not to mention the benefits to the ozone layer and global warming.
ring road, detour, diversion, circuitous route, roundabout way, alternative route;
British  relief road
British informal rat run
2A secondary channel, pipe, or connection to allow a flow when the main one is closed or blocked.
Example sentences
  • Power was restored to the effected racks via a manual bypass onto raw mains at approximately 10: 01 hrs.
  • The Council discounted several land corridors that were home to the fern because it believed the bypass would be blocked by a legal challenge if one of them was chosen.
  • The road was closed to traffic until late afternoon when a temporary bypass was established to allow cars past the accident spot.
3A surgical operation in which an alternative channel is created, especially to improve blood flow to the heart when a coronary artery is blocked: I had a bypass last year so have been building up my strength [as modifier]: he’s just had a triple bypass operation
More example sentences
  • When he was 45, he had to undergo surgery for five bypasses.
  • Zara stayed there for a month until just before Christmas then returned to Birmingham for corrective surgery on her gastric bypass.
  • How many bypasses are possible through minimally invasive bypass surgery?
3.1An alternative channel created during a bypass operation.
Example sentences
  • He has also had a heart bypass, and an operation on his leg arteries for a condition that left him almost crippled.
  • Unfortunately, many of us know someone who underwent surgery in the last year, and whether it was a hip operation or a heart bypass, more than likely a blood transfusion was required.
  • A patient using this for an hour a day over a five-week period will see the same beneficial effects as they would from having a heart bypass operation, without having to risk having this major procedure.


[with object]
1Go past or round: bypass the farm and continue to the road
More example sentences
  • We bypass a farm with fine barns and cross another idyllic little stream by way of four large stepping-stones.
  • Opening or bypassing (getting round) the blocked arteries can help.
  • Dodging past the pedestrians with his gun drawn, Philip bypassed a bike shop and stopped, leaning on his knees for leverage.
go round, go past, make a detour round, pass round;
avoid, keep out of, don't go near
1.1Provide (a town) with a route diverting traffic from its centre: the town has been bypassed
More example sentences
  • When Kildare Town is bypassed it will create traffic chaos in Monasterevin during peak periods as ever rising numbers of vehicles slow down to a crawl through the town.
  • A pressure group is working with campaigners in Westbury to devise a new link road system for traffic to bypass the town.
  • The site is currently used as a driving range and will be adjacent to the proposed new ring road which will bypass Thurles town centre.
1.2Avoid or circumvent (an obstacle or problem): a manager might bypass formal channels of communication
More example sentences
  • Under the circumstances, the ministry hopes its new policy initiative would bypass the problem.
  • It seems that the cognitive system has evolved an impressive algorithm that bypasses the problems encountered by formal mathematics.
  • But the research team have found a way to bypass this problem by training antibodies to neutralise the damaging toxic waste emitted into the blood stream by meningococcal bacteria.
avoid, evade, dodge, escape, elude, circumvent, get round, skirt (round), find a way round, give a wide berth to, sidestep, steer clear of, get out of, shirk
informal duck

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: by¦pass

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