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Also called belt highway. a highway around the perimeter of an urban area.
the Beltway, the Washington, D.C., area within the highway that encircles it.
Contemporary Examples

Hog Hunters: DC Needs You! Justin Green November 14, 2012
Petraeus Fever Paralyzes Washington as the Media Pounce on Sex Scandal Howard Kurtz November 14, 2012
Why The Hagel Trial Balloon Popped Gil Troy December 24, 2012
How Can Dems Be Losing to These Idiots? Michael Tomasky October 28, 2014
30 Years After the Beirut Bombing We Have Learned Nothing Christopher Dickey October 22, 2013
Newt’s Surprising S.C. Strength Howard Kurtz January 13, 2012
The Right Reacts The Daily Beast May 9, 2010
Parties Resort to Finger-Pointing as U.S. Heads Over Fiscal Cliff Howard Kurtz December 27, 2012
Cindy Speaks Meghan McCain January 18, 2009
Risky Gamesmanship Over the Debt Ceiling Zachary Karabell May 16, 2011

the usual US name for a ring road
(usually with capital)

the people and institutions located in the area bounded by the Washington Beltway, taken to be politically and socially out of touch with the rest of America and much given to political intrigue
(as modifier): Beltway Cassandras



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