Do you need to know the difference between 'freeway' vs. 'highway?' Here it is.
In case you are in a hurry, here is a short answer:
Although the answer above gives you an overview, there is a lot more to learn about the way people use these terms. So, to learn exactly how and when to use each, keep reading!
If you are from a small town or area where there aren't any 'freeways,' you may have no idea what the difference is between a 'freeway' vs. 'highway.' That is because 'highways' are usually the major roads in rural areas.
Both 'highways' and 'freeways' have higher speeds than regular roads. However, 'highways' usually have traffic control features like stop signs and lights.
'Freeways,' on the other hand, usually do not have lights or other features that control the flow of traffic. Instead, they utilize overpasses and entrance and exit ramps to control the flow of traffic and create a faster route for travelers.
'Freeways' generally have higher speed limits than streets, boulevards, and highways. In fact, the average speed on 'freeways' in the United States is approximately 70 mph, and the average speed on highways is nearly 14 mph lower at approximately 56 mph.
The reason for the reduced speeds is that cars have the ability to turn off of 'highways' into businesses and directly onto other smaller streets. In contrast, you have to exit a 'freeway' and enter businesses off of a feeder road.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'freeway' is a noun that means:
It can also mean:
Here are some synonyms and similar terms that you can use instead of 'freeway.'
The same source defines 'highway' as a noun that means:
Look at the synonyms for 'highway.' You will notice that many of them are the same as those for 'freeway.' So, many people use these terms interchangeably.
Next, let's look at the pronunciation of 'freeway' vs. 'highway' because when you are learning the meanings and proper usage of terms like these, it is always a good idea to learn the pronunciation.
So, here is a pronunciation guide for 'freeway' and 'highway.'
After learning the definitions of these words, you may be more confused than when we started. However, here are some tips for how and when to use 'freeway' vs. 'highway' that should help.
So, you could say:
I know you do not like to drive on the freeway, but you can get her much quicker on I69.
For example, I might say something like:
After you get on the freeway at the Gessner/Fondren entrance, you will travel for three miles before taking exit 79 towards Chimney Rock.
As an example, you might hear someone say:
If you have ever been to Houston, TX, you know that all of the freeways downtown look like a plate of spaghetti.
For example, you could say:
Our location is off Highway 6 and Eldridge on the right-hand side if you are traveling northbound.
Here are some additional sample sentences using 'freeway' vs. 'highway.' Reading them should help you commit these terms to memory.
Finally, you are done with this lesson. But we covered a lot, so here is a quick recap of what you learned about the difference between 'freeway' vs. 'highway' in this post.
Hopefully, after reading this entire guide, you will remember the difference between these terms. However, you can always return to this page to review this lesson if you get mixed up.
You can also learn about hundreds of other commonly misspelled, misused, and mispronounced terms and phrases in the confusing words section here. So, if you have been wondering how to correctly use other English words, check them out before you go.