right of way

When you're legally allowed to walk across someone's private land, you have a right of way. Often, beaches are accessible to the public via a right of way through someone's property.

Use the legal phrase right of way whether you're talking about the physical path or route that people are permitted to use, or their right to use that path. When you're driving, right of way refers to one driver's right to proceed first, or a pedestrian's right to use a crosswalk, for example. At a four-way stop, the driver who stops first has the right of way, so they also get to drive through the intersection first.

Definitions of right of way

n the privilege of someone to pass over land belonging to someone else

Type of:
(law) the privilege of using something that is not your own (as using another's land as a right of way to your own land)

n the right of one vehicle or vessel to take precedence over another

Type of:
an abstract idea of that which is due to a person or governmental body by law or tradition or nature

n the passage consisting of a path or strip of land over which someone has the legal right to pass

Type of:
a way through or along which someone or something may pass

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