Nickname for the highway (I-495) that encircles Washington DC through the surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland.

A defining feature of your DC-respective locale is whether it is inside or outside the beltway.

"Inside the beltway" can also refer generically to politics in the US capital city.
Person 1: I live in DC.
Person 2: No you don't. You live in Bethesda.
Person 1: Well, yeah, but it's inside the beltway.

Commuter 1: Traffic on the beltway sucked this morning.
Commuter 2: It always sucks. That's why I take the Metro.

by creaternity May 16, 2006
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The driver's nightmare. Basically the only highway to get around the DC area. Idiot magnet. Watch for people in the left lane doing 50 MPH.
Whoa! An accident! Never seen one of those! I think I'll slow way down and stop traffic just to look at it!
by lazylatvian May 8, 2005
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When a belt is too tight on a fat person. The belt creates a valley between the belly and the groin
The beltway on Charlie Weis is spectacular compared to Bill Parcell.
by Kyle Turley October 14, 2006
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Someone raised in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, by parents who moved to the area to work in the government or a related field (law, lobbying, defense contractors, etc). The strictest definition would only apply to people living within the Capital Beltway, but more usually it refers to any county the Beltway passes through or encompasses (Washington D.C., Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Montgomery, and Prince George's County). As military brats are likely to know an unusual amount about the military, so beltway brats are likely to know an unusual amount about politics and government.
Alice: Charlie kept talking to the teacher about tort reform. How does he know so much about politics?
Bob: Oh, he grew up here in D.C., and his mom works for the Department of Agriculture-- he's a total beltway brat.
by lukebn April 21, 2010
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Ironically-named, out-of-touch nonsense repeated in an echo chamber by professionals in politics or the media who live in the Washington DC metro area, often proven wrong because the insulated people who subscribe to it are obsessed with horserace politics, their Twitter accounts, their ipads, and their cocktail parties instead of discussing the real issues that affect Americans who don't live there
"I have a feeling this contraception thing is going to hurt Obama with Catholics."

"Really? Thanks for the Beltway wisdom but Catholics actually support it. Try getting out of the echo chamber every now and then, Chris."
by Kanye Finish February 23, 2012
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An unnecessary consultant, espcially one hired at government expense.
Though Ken isn't ashamed of his job as a certificate paper consultant for the government, his friends acknowledge behind his back that he's just a beltway bandit.
by SDHO June 19, 2008
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A politician, lobbyist, or other person who is politically isolated from the rest of the country, due to the royal court type environment of Washington, DC. Refers to I-495, the beltway around Washington, DC.

Could also mean someone who literally lives inside I-495, either in Washington, DC proper or one of the inner suburbs (Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church City, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, etc)
These inside the beltway fatcats have lost touch with the values of the average american family!
by arlingtonlifer September 12, 2007
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