What's the meaning of "way" in this sentence:

You got way too much free time.

While we can just say:

You got too much free time.

Is it to emphasize the meaning?

  • 3
    Way there is an intensifier, meant to enhance the degree of the statement. It's similar to saying "You have much too much free time."
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 16:06
  • 1
    @Robusto Agreed... and you can stretch waaaaaaaaaaaay just as long as you like.
    – Mick
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 16:08
  • 3
    It is common colloquial usage in AmE, and you are correct that it is used to emphasize the meaning. Its use should be avoided in formal writing but is fine in casual speech and texts, etc. Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 16:12

2 Answers 2


We can use "way" informally as a degree adverb which means a lot. It is used to emphasize the meaning.

She had way more chances than me.


While literally "way" means a road or a path, it is often used to refer to the distance traveled along it:

It is a long way to Grandma's house.

This means:

The road (which we must travel) to get to Grandma's house is a long one.

You can also say:

It's quite a way to Grandma's house.

In other words, the road is quite long.

But this use of "way" to mean a distance is not limited to literal roads and paths:

That tree is way taller.

At this point the speaker has lost sight of the literal meaning of "way" (there is no road or path to the top of the tree) and is using it to convey the idea of "far".

The distance too can be figurative as in your example:

You got way too much free time.

We can substitute the word "far" and keep the same meaning:

You got far too much free time.

In both cases there is a figurative distance between how much free time he should have and how much he actually has.

As a side note, the sentence in your question is meant to imply that the one addressed is not using his time wisely.

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