Definition of leeway in English:


See synonyms for leeway

Translate leeway into Spanish


  • 1The amount of freedom to move or act that is available.

    ‘they had several months' leeway to introduce reforms’
    • ‘She had been given more freedom and leeway than other daughters of kings.’
    • ‘Our readers have a fair amount of leeway in choosing where they earn those frequent-traveler points.’
    • ‘And I think the press is at least giving them leeway now to make those moves.’
    • ‘The Minister had given the Council a certain amount of leeway.’
    • ‘Certainly, the government deserves a significant amount of leeway when it comes to endorsing the current administration.’
    • ‘The market's freedom gives veterinarians leeway in pricing, which some pet owners find objectionable.’
    • ‘Typically, I provide independent films an amount of leeway when it comes to video and audio quality, but this movie needs no such special consideration.’
    • ‘Given great leeway in implementing welfare reform, the states were as insatiable as the federal government in crafting rules designed to cut welfare caseloads.’
    • ‘The deal is also expected to further erode job classifications and shop floor protections, and grant the auto companies substantial leeway in moving workers from job to job and plant to plant.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, however, or in fur and jewelry boutiques that lease space in department stores, salespeople working on commission are often allowed leeway to move merchandise, he said.’
    • ‘A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last month giving judges more leeway in deciding federal prison terms could be good news for computer intruders who don't fit the classic criminal mold, legal experts say.’
    • ‘Only last autumn, the new 12A category was introduced to give parents more leeway and say in their children's cinema viewing.’
    • ‘We did allow some leeway, some flexibility, if experience overrode not having a high school diploma.’
    • ‘A common (but not universal) view in Asia of how aid should be managed is to allow benefactor nations leeway to implement their own reforms.’
    • ‘The incident outraged the international press and eventually forced Soviet officials to give leeway to the independent artists.’
    • ‘Losing some staff who have been convicted for serious offences is a good thing but there seems to be no leeway.’
    • ‘The justices refused to backtrack from a 5-4 decision that struck down a state sentencing system because it gave judges too much leeway in sentencing.’
    • ‘Though there is more duty on importing cars, the government has given leeway to people intending to invest in vehicle assembly plants, so that instead of importing vehicles they can be obtained locally.’
    • ‘‘Besides, the hectic academic schedule does not provide them any leeway,’ he says.’
    • ‘It is not clear what leeway the Court will grant Congress to interpret and enforce constitutional rights.’
    freedom, scope, room to manoeuvre, latitude, elbow room, slack, space, room, liberty, room to spare, room to operate, scope for initiative, freedom of action, freedom from restriction, a free hand, flexibility, independence, licence, self-determination, free rein, free play, unrestrictedness, indulgence, margin, play, give, laxity, leisure
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Margin of safety.
      ‘there is little leeway if anything goes wrong’
      • ‘Up here in the still vastness there is no margin for error, no wiggle room, no leeway between getting it right and dying.’
  • 2The sideways drift of a ship or an aircraft to leeward of the desired course.

    • ‘the leeway is only about 2°’



/ˈlēˌwā/ /ˈliˌweɪ/