The Abbreviation for Highway: What Is It and How Is It Used?

Do you want to know about the right way to abbreviate highway? Let’s explore the meaning behind the word highway, its abbreviations, and various uses. We’ll also be looking at common synonyms and ways to use the word and abbreviation in context. 

Let’s have a look at some common abbreviations:

  •   HWY—Primary abbreviation
  •   HWAY—Secondary abbreviation


For example:

33 Crestwood Hwy. 

Dallas, Texas 75001

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What Does Highway Mean?

According to, the definition of highway is,

Highway [hahy-wey]


●      a main road, especially one between towns or cities:

the highway between Los Angeles and Seattle Harbour (hbr).

●      any public road or waterway.

●      any main or ordinary route, track, or course.

For example:

He took the highway, rather than the back road. 

Synonyms for Highway

 The History of the Word

According to The Online Etymology Dictionary, the word highway finds its origin in the Old English word heahweg, which was used to describe the main road leading from one town to another. It replaced high street, derived from Old English heahstræte, in the 17th century. Prior to that time, the high street would have described highways and main roads, whether they were in the country or town, including old Roman thoroughfares. 

The term “highway robbery,” as used to describe something overly expensive, dates from 1886. 

When to Use the Abbreviation

You can find this abbreviation used for addresses, forms, and other official documents, as it is widely recognized. You can also find it on any transportation-related information, such as guides, maps, or signage. Hwy. is the official abbreviation used by the U.S. postal services (USPS). The abbreviation can be capitalized or written with lowercase letters, and it can be used with or without a period. 

One might also find the abbreviation used in titles or headlines where there is limited space.  

Examples of the Word and Abbreviation in Context

“Authorities shut down Highway 101 in Santa Barbara Wednesday night due to a possibly suicidal woman on the Las Positas Road overpass.”
—Santa Barbara Noozhawk

“State closed Hwy. 30 over slide fears | The Historic Columbia River Highway was closed Tuesday and Wednesday between Multnomah Falls and Angel’s Rest following a small slide early Tuesday.”
—Hood River News​​​

“The ex-minister who signed off Britain’s smart motorways has called for the rollout of the scheme to be halted immediately, and accused Highways England of killing motorists by ‘casually ignoring commitments’ on safety systems.”
—The Guardian

“A multi-vehicle accident on Ga. Hwy. 27 southbound near 8th Division Road leaves one person dead Sunday night, according to Fort Benning Spokesman Ben Garrett.”

Additional United States Postal Service (USPS)  Landmark and Street Name Abbreviations

ALY Alley

ANX Annex

BCH Beach

BND Bend

BRG Burg

BRK Brook

BYP Bypass

BLF Bluff

BTM Bottom

CLB Club

CMN Common

CRES Crescent

CRK Creek

CRSE Course

CRST Crest

CSWY Causeway

CTR Center

EXPY Expressway

FLD Field

FLT Flat

FRD Ford

FRG Forge

FRK Fork

FWY Freeway

GDN Garden

GLN Glen

GRN Green

GRV Grove

GTWY Gateway

HBR Harbor

HOLW Hollow

HVN Haven

HWY Highway

INLT Inlet

JCT Junction

KNL Knoll

LCK Lock

LDG Lodge

LGT Light

LNDG Landing

MDW Meadow

MNR Manor

MSN Mission

MTN Mountain

NCK Neck

ORCH Orchard

PLN Plain

PLZ Plaza

PKWY Parkway

PRT Port

RADL Radial

RDG Ridge

RIV River

RNCH Ranch

RPD Rapid

RTE Route

SHLS Shoals

SHR Shore

SMT Summit

SPG Spring

STRM Stream

SQ Square

TRCE Trace

TRL Trail

TPKE Turnpike

TUNL Tunnel

VLG Village

VLY Valley

VW View

WLS Wells

XING Crossing