right' of way'
—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. Fencing.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. Also,right'-of-way'.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.