Road vs. Highway
A road is a paved or otherwise improved path for vehicles and pedestrians, while a highway is a major road, usually wider and often controlled-access, designed for faster and more efficient travel over long distances.
In terms of maintenance and jurisdiction, roads can be under the control of local, state, or federal governments, and they often include pedestrian pathways, bike lanes, and parking. Highways are generally maintained by state or federal governments and rarely include accommodations for non-motorized travel.
Many countries have specific regulations that apply to highways, including higher speed limits and restrictions on types of vehicles that can use them. On a road, especially within a city or town, you're likely to find lower speed limits, and more types of vehicles, including bicycles and scooters, may be allowed.
Both road and highway are types of thoroughfares designed for vehicular travel, but they differ in their features and purposes. A road is a general term that encompasses any pathway on which vehicles can travel, regardless of size or quality. A highway, however, is usually larger, has more lanes, and is intended for faster travel.
A road can exist in both urban and rural settings and may include both main and secondary routes. Highways, in contrast, are usually longer and often bypass smaller communities to expedite travel between larger cities. Roads may have stoplights, while highways typically use ramps for entry and exit to maintain a consistent speed of travel.
While roads are ubiquitous and serve as the basic infrastructure for all types of vehicular traffic, highways are specialized types of roads designed for speed and efficiency, often as part of a national network. Highways usually feature controlled access, meaning no intersections, to allow for smoother, safer travel.
General vehicular travel
Faster, long-distance travel
Urban and rural
Usually between cities
May include stoplights
Usually no stoplights
Road and Highway Definitions
A thoroughfare for vehicles and pedestrians.
The road outside my house is always busy.
A toll road for faster commuting.
The toll for using this highway is $5.
A surface layer for vehicular travel.
The road was paved last week.
A term for a major arterial road in some countries.
The Pacific Highway runs along the east coast of Australia.
A narrow, rural path.
We went biking on a country road.
A major public road designed for long-distance travel.
We took the highway to reach the city faster.
A metaphorical path or course of action.
She's on the road to recovery.
A road connecting major cities.
The highway connects New York to Boston.
Abbr. Rd. An open, generally public way for the passage of vehicles, people, and animals.
A controlled-access road.
This highway has no traffic lights.
The surface of a road; a roadbed.
A main public road, especially one connecting towns and cities.
A course or path
The road to riches.
(historical) A road that is higher than the surrounding land and has drainage ditches at the sides
A main public road, especially a multi-lane, high-speed thoroughfare.
Often roads(Nautical) A roadstead.
(figurative) A way; a path that leads to a certain destiny
You're on a highway to greatness.
A way used for travelling between places, originally one wide enough to allow foot passengers and horses to travel, now (US) usually one surfaced with asphalt or concrete and designed to accommodate many vehicles travelling in both directions. In the UK both senses are heard: a country road is the same as a country lane.
Any public road for vehicular traffic.
(uncountable) Roads in general as a means of travel, especially by motor vehicle.
We travelled to the seaside by road.
(dated) A physical way or route.
To travel on a highway
(figuratively) A path chosen, as in life or career.
The road to happiness; the road to success.
A road or way open to the use of the public, especially a paved main road or thoroughfare between towns; in the latter sense it contrasts with local street; as, on the highways and byways.
An underground tunnel in a mine.
A major road for any form of motor transport
A railway or a single railway track.
(obsolete) The act of riding on horseback.
(obsolete) A hostile ride against a particular area; a raid.
A partly sheltered area of water near a shore in which vessels may ride at anchor; a roadstead.
(obsolete) A journey, or stage of a journey.
At the venue of the opposing team or competitor; on the road.
A journey, or stage of a journey.
With easy roads he came to Leicester.
An inroad; an invasion; a raid.
A place where one may ride; an open way or public passage for vehicles, persons, and animals; a track for travel, forming a means of communication between one city, town, or place, and another.
The most villainous house in all the London road.
A place where ships may ride at anchor at some distance from the shore; a roadstead; - often in the plural; as, Hampton Roads.
Now strike your saile, ye jolly mariners,For we be come unto a quiet rode [road].
My hat and wig will soon be here,They are upon the road.
The highway robber - road agent he is quaintly called.
An open way (generally public) for travel or transportation
A way or means to achieve something;
The road to fame
Taking place over public roads;
Working for a short time in different places;
A road show
A route or path with a specific destination.
The road to success is hard.
What is a highway?
A highway is a major, often controlled-access road designed for faster, long-distance travel.
Can a road be a highway?
All highways are roads, but not all roads are highways.
Who usually maintains roads?
Roads can be maintained by local, state, or federal governments.
What is the speed limit on roads usually?
Speed limits on roads are generally lower and vary based on location.
Can pedestrians walk on highways?
Generally, no. Highways are designed for vehicular traffic.
What is a road?
A road is a paved or otherwise improved path designed for vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Who usually maintains highways?
Highways are generally maintained by state or federal governments.
What is the speed limit on highways?
Speed limits on highways are usually higher to facilitate faster travel.
What types of vehicles can use roads?
Most types of vehicles can use roads, including bicycles and scooters.
Are there stoplights on roads?
Yes, roads often have stoplights, especially in urban areas.
What types of vehicles can use highways?
Usually, only motorized vehicles are allowed on highways.
What's the main purpose of a road?
The main purpose is to facilitate general vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Can pedestrians walk on roads?
Yes, many roads have sidewalks or pedestrian pathways.
Are there stoplights on highways?
Typically, no. Highways usually have ramps and exits instead.
What's the main purpose of a highway?
The main purpose is to facilitate faster, long-distance travel.
Written bySawaira Riaz
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