Old English lane, lanu "narrow hedged-in road," common Germanic (cognates: Old Frisian lana, Middle Dutch lane, Dutch laan "lane, alley, avenue," Old Norse lön "small, oblong hayrick," in modern use "row of houses"), but of unknown origin. From early 15c. as "any well-defined track;" as "one track of a marked road" from 1921, American English.
"thick, cotton stuff with a corded or ridged surface," 1774, probably from cord + obsolete 17c. duroy, name of a coarse fabric made in England, which is of unknown origin. Folk etymology is from *corde du roi "the king's cord," but this is not attested in French, where the term for the cloth was velours à côtes. As an adjective from 1789. Applied in U.S. to a road of logs across swampy ground (1780s) on similarity of appearance.
CORDUROY ROAD. A road or causeway constructed with logs laid together over swamps or marshy places. When properly finished earth is thrown between them by which the road is made smooth; but in newly settled parts of the United States they are often left uncovered, and hence are extremely rough and bad to pass over with a carriage. Sometimes they extend many miles. They derive their name from their resemblance to a species of ribbed velvet, called corduroy. [Bartlett]
c. 1200, "a way, a road, space for passage," from Old French rute "road, way, path" (12c.), from Latin rupta (via) "(a road) opened by force," broken or cut through a forest, etc., from rupta, fem. past participle of rumpere "to break" (see rupture (n.)).
The sense of "fixed or regular course for carrying things" (originally and for long especially postal, as in mail route) is from 1792, an extension of the meaning "customary path of animals" (early 15c.) itself later extended to sales, collections, delivery of milk or newspapers, etc. OED says the pronunciation that rhymes with "stout" appeared early 19c.
The horse follows the crooks of a country road, but then the training of the "motorcycle" (horrid name) will inevitably straighten out the crooks in the country road, and afford long ranges of straight tracks. [Payson Burleigh, "The Age of Steel," Oct. 12, 1895]
"road or path raised above the natural level of the ground," as a dry passage over wet places or along the top of an embankment, 1570s, from Middle English cauceweye "raised road" (mid-15c.). The first element is from Anglo-French cauce, Old North French cauciee (12c., Modern French chaussée), from Vulgar Latin *via calciata "paved way," from Latin calcis, genitive of calx (2) "limestone," or Late Latin calciare "to stamp with the heels, tread" (on the notion of a road or mound across marshy ground made firm by treading down), from Latin calx (1) "heel" (see calcaneus). For second element, see way (n.).
1530s, "a running (usually at full speed), a course" (especially of the sun, etc., across the sky), from French carriere "road, racecourse" (16c.), from Old Provençal or Italian carriera, from Vulgar Latin *(via) cararia "carriage (road), track for wheeled vehicles," from Latin carrus "chariot" (see car). The sense of "general course of action or movement" is from 1590s, hence "course of one's public or professional life" (1803).
1590s, "out of the common or direct way," from Latin devius "out of the way, remote, off the main road," from de via; from de "off" (see de-) + via "way, road" (see via). Compare deviate. Originally in the Latin literal sense; the figurative sense of "deceitful" is first recorded 1630s. Related: Deviously; deviousness. Figurative senses of the Latin word were "retired, sequestered, wandering in the byways, foolish, inconsistent."
early 15c., "an exchange, act of exchanging reciprocally," from Old French entrechange, from entrechangier (see interchange (v.)). Meaning "alternate succession" is from 1550s. In reference to a type of road junction, 1944.