Etymology
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subway (n.)

1825, "underground passage" (for water pipes or pedestrians, later for electrical wires), from sub- + way (n.). The sense of "underground railway in a city" is first recorded 1892, in reference to London.

updated on May 06, 2014

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Definitions of subway from WordNet

subway (n.)
an electric railway operating below the surface of the ground (usually in a city);
in Paris the subway system is called the `metro' and in London it is called the `tube' or the `underground'
Synonyms: metro / tube / underground / subway system
subway (n.)
an underground tunnel or passage enabling pedestrians to cross a road or railway;
Synonyms: underpass
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.