Meaning of right of way

right' of way'

Pronunciation: [key]
— pl. rights of way, right of ways.
  1. a common law or statutory right granted to a vehicle, as an airplane or boat, to proceed ahead of another.
  2. a path or route that may lawfully be used.
  3. a right of passage, as over another's land.
  4. the strip of land acquired for use by a railroad for tracks.
  5. land covered by a public road.
  6. land over which a power line passes.
  7. the right to attack or continue an attack, and thus to be credited with a hit, by virtue of having first extended the sword arm or having parried the opponent's attack.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.