noun \ ˈpath , ˈpäth \
|Updated on: 11 Jul 2018

Definition of path

plural paths play \ˈpat͟hz, ˈpaths, ˈpät͟hz, ˈpäths\
1 : a trodden way
  • a winding path through the woods
2 : a track specially constructed for a particular use
  • a garden path of flagstones
3 a : course, route
  • the path of a meteor
b : a way of life, conduct, or thought
  • decided on a career path in medicine
4 a : the continuous series of positions or configurations that can be assumed in any motion or process of change by a moving or varying system
b : a sequence of arcs in a network that can be traced continuously without retracing any arc
5 : pathway 2
  • the optic path from the retina to the cerebral cortex

Examples of path in a Sentence

  1. We followed a winding path through the woods.

  2. The path led down the hill.

  3. The car skidded into the path of an oncoming truck.

  4. The fire destroyed everything in its path.

  5. The cars moved aside to clear a path for the ambulance.

  6. He tried to leave but one of the guards blocked his path.

  7. They are heading down a dangerous path that could lead to war.

Recent Examples of path from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'path.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of path

Middle English, from Old English pæth; akin to Old High German pfad path



variants: or pathol

Definition of path


combining form
variants: or patho-

Definition of path-

: pathological state : disease
  • pathogen

Origin and Etymology of path-

New Latin, from Greek, from pathos, literally, suffering — more at pathos


noun combining form

Definition of -path

1 : practitioner of a (specified) system of medicine that emphasizes one aspect of disease or its treatment
  • naturopath
[International Scientific Vocabulary, from Greek -pathēs, adjective, suffering, from pathos]
a : one suffering from a disorder (of such a part or system)
  • psychopath
b : one perceiving
  • telepath

Origin and Etymology of -path

German, back-formation from -pathie -pathy

PATH Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of path for English Language Learners

  • : a track that is made by people or animals walking over the ground

  • : a track that is specially made for people to walk or ride on

  • : the area in front of someone or something that is moving

PATH Defined for Kids


noun \ ˈpath , ˈpäth \

Definition of path for Students

plural paths \ˈpat͟hz, ˈpät͟hz\
1 : a track made by traveling on foot
  • We followed a path through the woods.
2 : the way or track in which something moves or in which something will be encountered
  • “Push the log in the path of the saw!”
  • —Lemony Snicket, The Miserable Mill
3 : a way of life or thought

Medical Dictionary


noun \ ˈpath, ˈpȧth \

medical Definition of path

plural paths play \ˈpat͟hz, ˈpaths, ˈpȧt͟hz, ˈpȧths\
1 : the way or route traversed by something
  • the sweat glands are the chief paths by which water reaches the surface of the skin
  • —Morris Fishbein
2 : pathway 1



medical Definition of path

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