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A highway is any public road or other public way on land. It is used for major roads, but also includes other public roads and public tracks: It is not an equivalent term to freeway (motorway), or a translation for autobahn, autoroute, etc. In North American and Australian English, major roads such as controlled-access highways or arterial roads are often state highways (Canada: provincial highways). Other roads may be designated "county highways" in the US and Ontario. These classifications refer to the level of government (state, provincial, county) that maintains the roadway. In British English, "highway" is primarily a legal term. Everyday use normally implies roads, while the legal use covers any route or path with a public right of access, including footpaths etc. The term highway exists in distinction to "waterway".


  • Mathematics is not a careful march down a well-cleared highway, but a journey into a strange wilderness, where the explorers often get lost. Rigour should be a signal to the historian that the maps have been made, and the real explorers have gone elsewhere.
    • W. S. Anglin, in Mathematics and History, elucidating the symmetry between the creative and logical aspects of mathematics.
  • So put me on a highway
    And show me a sign
    And take it to the limit one more time.
  • My highway is unfeatured air,
    My consorts are the sleepless stars,
    And men my giant arms upbear—
    My arms unstained and free from scars.
  • No man can make a stable-yard of the King's highway.
    • Lord Ellenborough, Rex v. Cross (1812), 3 Camp. 227; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 100.
  • During the brief span of their lives they walked in their native garments down the great highway of a great nation; were laughed at, sworn at, chased, and fled from. Then they passed and were heard of no more.
  • Thy wisdom speaks in me, and bids me dare
    Beacon the rocks on which high hearts are wreckt.
    I never was attached to that great sect,
    Whose doctrine is, that each one should select
    Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend,
    And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
    To cold oblivion, though it is in the code
    Of modern morals, and the beaten road
    Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread,
    Who travel to their home among the dead
    By the broad highway of the world, and so
    With one chained friend, — perhaps a jealous foe,
    The dreariest and the longest journey go.

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