E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Right of Way (The).
The legal right to make use of a certain passage whether high-road, by-road, or private road. Watercourses, ferries, rivers, etc., are included in the word ways. Private right of way may be claimed by immemorial usage, special permission, or necessity; but a funeral cortège or bridal party having passed over a certain field does not give to the public the right of way, as many suppose.