Road vs. Rode

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A road is a wide street or lane, usually with an asphalt or concrete surface. A road provides a clear pathway of travel from place to place. A road may also be a figurative path of travel on a life journey, a series of events leading to a particular ending or goal. In mining, a road is an underground passageway into a mine. Road comes from the Old English rad, meaning riding expedition, journey, hostile incursion. Road as meaning an open way for traveling between two places is first seen in the 1590s.

Rode is the past tense of ride. Related words are rides, riding and ridden. A rode is also a North American term for a nautical rope attached to a small boat’s anchor. Ride as a verb comes from the Old English ridan, meaning sit or be carried on, move forward, rock, float, sail.


For a little more than two months, Winfield Cash and Abel Newman have been driving Kansas City’s roads, traveling the major thoroughfares as well as residential streets. (The Kansas City Star)

Diamond Lake Road will remain closed through most of October due to unexpected flooding and construction problems, lengthening a headache for commuters and school buses traveling through Long Grove, officials said Monday. (The Chicago Tribune)

A £1.8 billion investment plan for the region’s roads has been revealed by Highways England bosses as they met with potential contractors, suppliers and businesses in Birmingham. (The Birmingham Post)

A manager who rode the wave of optimism but always looked in danger of sinking (The Irish Independent)

Charo Green said she had the best view of the Corpus Christi Bay while she rode her bike Saturday. (The Corpus Christi Caller-Times)