I've read 3 definitions from Oxford Dictionary about the definition of out of the way. I.e.:

  1. no longer stopping somebody from moving or doing something
  2. finished; dealt with
  3. used in negative sentences to mean ‘unusual’

However, it seems like the definition doesn't match with the usage of the phrase in the sentence below:

We keep our skis up in the loft. They're out of the way up there.

I took that sentence fron my exercise book, by the way. I wonder what its meaning is. Is it like out-of-reach or something?

1 Answer 1


It is your definition 1: the skis are not in "the way" (sitting in the middle of a commonly used path, or preventing you from reaching something else). Instead they are out of "the way".

"The way" in this phrase is used almost literally to mean "the path," if that helps you understand it.

"Out of the way" in this sense can be used to describe any object that has been set aside because it is not immediately or commonly needed. It does not really mean "out of reach" because you can still get to it if you needed to, but it could mean "out of easy reach."

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