noun (plural paths )
a way across a piece of land, where people can walk:
a path through the woods
path S2 W2 /pɑːθ $ pæθ/ BrE AmE noun (plural paths /pɑːðz $ pæðz/) [countable]
[Language: Old English; Origin: pæth]
1. TRACK a track that has been made deliberately or made by many people walking over the same ground:
I walked nervously up the garden path towards the front door.
a well-worn path across the grass
Follow the path along the river to the bridge.
a path leading to the summer house
2. WAY THROUGH SOMETHING the space ahead of you as you move along
Police cleared a path through the protesters.
Damian blocked their path.
3. DIRECTION the direction or line along which something or someone is moving
in sth’s/sb’s path
The tornado destroyed everything in its path.
into the path of something
She walked into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
4. PLAN a plan or series of actions that will help you achieve something, especially over a long period of time:
a career path
path to freedom/success/independence etc
She saw a college degree as her path to success.
the same/a different path
I hope you will choose a different path.
5. sb’s paths cross if two people’s paths cross, they meet by chance:
Our paths did not cross again.
⇨ beat a path (to sb’s door) at beat1(16), ⇨ off the beaten path at beaten(1), ⇨ flight path, ⇨ lead somebody up the garden path at lead1(12), ⇨ stand in sb’s path at stand1(30)
• • •
▪ follow a path We followed a path through the trees.
▪ take a path (=start going along it) Take the wide path to the right.
▪ keep to the path They kept carefully to the paths and did not go across the farmer's fields.
▪ a path leads somewhere There are many paths leading to the top of the mountain.
▪ a path winds A narrow path wound down towards the beach.
▪ a path climbs (=goes upwards) I could see the line of a path that climbed up from the bay.
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + path
▪ narrow We walked along a narrow path beside a stream.
▪ steep A steep path led down to the harbour.
▪ muddy They trudged up the muddy path.
▪ rocky Our guide trod carefully down the rocky path.
▪ winding He climbed the winding path up the hill.
▪ well-worn (=used a lot or for a long time) I followed what seemed to be a well-worn path heading in the right direction.
▪ a garden path Emma came running up the garden path.
▪ a coast/coastal/cliff path From the cliff path, you get superb views out to sea.
▪ a cycle path (=for people riding bicycles) They should put a cycle path along the edge of each new road they build.
▪ a bridle path (=for people riding horses) He knows all the bridle paths through the woods.
path [path paths] [pɑːθ] [pæθ] (pl. paths [pɑːðz] ; [pæðz] ) (also path·way) noun
1. a way or track that is built or is made by the action of people walking
• a concrete path
• the garden path
• Follow the path through the woods.
• to walk along a path
• The path led up a steep hill.
• a coastal path
see also footpath
2. usually singular a line along which sb/sth moves; the space in front of sb/sth as they move
• He threw himself into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
• The avalanche forced its way down the mountain, crushing everything in its path.
• Three men blocked her path.
see also flight path
3. a plan of action or a way of achieving sth
• a career path
• the path to success
see beat a path to sb's door at beat v., cross sb's path at cross v., lead sb up/down the garden path at lead1 v., the primrose path at primrose, smooth the path/way at smooth v.
See also: pathway
Old English pæth, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch pad, German Pfad, of unknown ultimate origin.
• a garden path
• Follow the path through the woods.
trail • |especially BrE track • • footpath • |BrE pavement • |AmE sidewalk •
a path/trail/track/footpath through/to sth
follow a path/trail/track/footpath
a path/trail/track/footpath leads to sth
• The diagram shows the path of the satellite.
course • • route • • line • • way • • direction • • orbit • |technical bearing •
a/the path/course/route/line/way from… to…
a/the path/course/route/line/way through/along/across sth
follow a/an path/course/route/line/way/orbit
• Everyone has to find their own path in life.
road • • route • • course • • direction •
a/the path/road/route to sth
on a path/road/route/course
take a/the… path/road/route/course/direction
Path, road or route? Path is often more personal than road: her path in life (= the one that a particular person follows) but the road to stardom (= the one that all stars must follow). Route may be used in both personal and general ways but is used especially to report things in a more factual, less emotional way: the route to economic stability
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
path / pɑːθ / / pæθ / noun [ C ] (TRACK)
A2 a route or track between one place and another, or the direction in which something is moving:
a garden path
a concrete path
a well-trodden path
This is the path to the cliffs.
It will be several days before snowploughs clear a path (through) to the village.
They followed the path until they came to a gate.
A fierce fire is still raging through the forest, burning everything in its path (= as it moves forward) .
The Weather Service issues warnings to people in the path of a hurricane (= in the area in which it is moving) .
The charged particles move in spiral paths.
figurative His path through life was never easy.
path / pɑːθ / / pæθ / noun [ C ] (ACTIONS)
B2 a set of actions, especially ones that lead to a goal or result:
The path to success is fraught with difficulties.
© Cambridge University Press 2013
1) N-COUNT A path is a long strip of ground which people walk along to get from one place to another.
We followed the path along the clifftops...
Feet had worn a path in the rock...
He went up the garden path to knock on the door.
2) N-COUNT: usu poss N Your path is the space ahead of you as you move along.
A group of reporters blocked his path...
She did not notice the man until he moved into her path.
3) N-COUNT: with poss The path of something is the line which it moves along in a particular direction.
He stepped without looking into the path of a reversing car.
...people who live near airports or under the flight path of airplanes...
The storm wrecked homes in its path.
4) N-COUNT: oft N of/to n A path that you take is a particular course of action or way of achieving something.
The opposition appear to have chosen the path of cooperation rather than confrontation...
He promised that within 100 days he would put the country on the path to economic recovery.
way, road, route
5) N-COUNT: usu with poss You can say that something is in your path or blocking your path to mean that it is preventing you from doing or achieving what you want.
The Church of England put a serious obstacle in the path of women who want to become priests.
6) PHRASE: V inflects If you cross someone's path or if your paths cross, you meet them by chance.
It was highly unlikely that their paths would cross again...
Over the years, Yul and Kirk had crossed paths many times.
path /ˈpæɵ, Brit ˈpɑːɵ/ noun, pl paths /ˈpæðz, Brit ˈpɑːðz/ [count]
1 a : a track that is made by people or animals walking over the ground
• We followed a winding path through the woods.
• a steep mountain path
• The path led down the hill.
b : a track that is specially made for people to walk or ride on
• a bike path
• a paved path
- see also bridle path
2 : the area in front of someone or something that is moving
• The car skidded into the path of an oncoming truck.
• The fire destroyed everything in its path.
• The cars moved aside to clear a path for the ambulance.
• He tried to leave but one of the guards blocked his path.
- see also flight path
3 : a way of living or proceeding that leads to something
• the path to peace/success
• They are heading down a dangerous path that could lead to war.
• Their older children all became doctors, but their youngest son chose/followed a different (career) path.
- see also primrose path at primrose
beat a path
- see 1beat
- see 2cross
lead someone down/up the garden path
- see 1lead
off the beaten path
- see beaten
take/follow the path of least resistance
- see resistance