Are there two single words to differentiate the two parts of a round trip?

If a single word does not exists, what is the shortest yet currently used locution?

  • possible duplicate of Is there a word for "part of a route"?
    – Robusto
    Aug 26, 2011 at 18:19
  • Also, please don't thank us in the question; I will ruthlessly delete any Thankses at the end!
    – Daniel
    Aug 26, 2011 at 18:29
  • 4
    There and Back Again :)
    – aedia λ
    Aug 26, 2011 at 18:52
  • 1
    @Robusto I saw that question, but I'm referring to physical travel, and specifically to two logically separated movements. Yes, these two parts may be called legs or segments, but how do I distinguish the one which leads me from my home to, let's say, Honolulu, and the one which brings me back?
    – Agos
    Aug 26, 2011 at 21:19
  • 1
    +1 this is exactly the question I was looking for. I needed to differentiate the two multi-leg portions of a round trip. Jun 14, 2013 at 20:22

4 Answers 4


If you need to differentiate, they would be the outward leg and the return leg.


outbound |ˈaʊtˈˌbaʊnd| (adjective & adverb)
traveling away from a particular place, esp. on the first leg of a round trip: an outbound flight, flying outbound.

inbound |ˈɪnˈˌbaʊnd| (adjective & adverb)
traveling toward a particular place, esp. when returning to the original point of departure: inbound traffic, we have three enemy planes inbound on bearing two ninety.

Return is also adequate for the latter, as indicated by JeffSahol.

  • +1 I like the symmetry in these. I prefer them to outward and return. Jun 14, 2013 at 20:18

Parts of trips are legs, but that can also mean a trip where you had a layover (two legs in the same direction).


There are lots of additional options of interest here...

Though people do use the word legs, I think the more common thing in practice is actually going there and coming back as adverbial phrases (e.g., "Coming back, we fly Delta"); or you can simply talk about the outbound trip or outbound portion of the trip and the return portion of the trip ("The return portion of the trip is 6 hours long".)

You can even say "My/The return flight is 6 hours long." Since a return trip requires multiple flights, this is unlikely to cause ambiguity.

Finally, somebody mentioned the potential ambiguity of legs. Some of this ambiguity can be resolved by using segments instead (legs being made up of segments). This is a word that the airline folks tend to use a lot.

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