Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A public way for use of the public in general, for passage and traffic, without distinction. See 57 Am. St. Rep. 744, note.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A free and public road, way or street; one which every person has the right to use. Abbott v. Duluth (C. C.) 104 Fed. 837; Shelby County Com'rs v. Cas-tetter, 7 Ind. App. 309, 33 N. E. 986; State v. Cowan, 29 N. C. 248; In re City of New York, 135 N. Y. 253, 31 N. E. 1043, 31 Am. St. Rep. 825; Parsons v. San Francisco, 23 Cal. 464. "In all counties of this state, publlc highways are roads, streets, alleys, lanes, courts, places, trails, and bridges, laid out or erected, as such by the public, or, if laid out and erected by others, dedicated or abandoned to the public, or made such in actions for the partition of real property." Pol. Code Cal. § 2618. There is a difference in the shade of meaning conveyed by two uses of the word. Sometimes it signifies right of free passage, in the abstract, not importing anything about the character or construction of the way. Thus, a river is called a "highway;" and it has been not unusual for congress, in granting a privilege of building a bridge, to declare that it shall be a public highway. Again, it has reference to some system of law authorizing the taking a strip of land, and preparing and devoting it to the use of travelers. In this use it imports a road-way upon the soil, constructed under the authority of these laws. Abbott.
    —Commissioners of highways. Public officers appointed in ,the several counties and municipalities, in many states, to take charge of the opening, altering, repair, and vacating of highways within their respective jurisdictions.
    —Common highway. By this term is meant a road to be used by the community at large for any purpose of transit or traffic. Ham. N. P. 239; Railway Co. v. State, 23 Fla. 546, 3 South. 158, 11 Am. St. Ren. 395.
    —Highway acts, or laws. The body or system of laws governing the laying out. repair, and use of highways
    —Highway crossing. A place where the track of a railroad crosses the line of a highway-Highway-rate. In English law A tax for the maintenance and repair of highways, chargeable upon the same property that is liable to the poor-rate
    —Highway robbery. See Robbery.
    —Highway tax. A tax for and applicable to the making and repair of highways. Stone v. Bean, 15 Gray (Mass.) 44.