path

noun
\ ˈpath How to pronounce path (audio) , ˈpäth \
plural paths\ ˈpat͟hz How to pronounce paths (audio) , ˈpaths , ˈpät͟hz , ˈpäths How to pronounce paths (audio) \

Definition of path

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a trodden way a winding path through the woods
2 : a track specially constructed for a particular use a garden path of flagstones
3a : course, route the path of a meteor
b : a way of life, conduct, or thought decided on a career path in medicine
4a : 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 sense 2 the optic path from the retina to the cerebral cortex
variants: or pathol

Definition of path (Entry 2 of 3)

Definition of -path (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : practitioner of a (specified) system of medicine that emphasizes one aspect of disease or its treatment naturopath
2
a : one suffering from a disorder (of such a part or system) psychopath
b : one perceiving telepath

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for path

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of path in a Sentence

Noun We followed a winding path through the woods. The path led down the hill. 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. They are heading down a dangerous path that could lead to war.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the path forward is so uncertain — success looks so distinct for each particular artist and may not have any correlation with money. Sarah Menkedick, Longreads, "Telling Stories In Order to Live: On Writing and Money," 17 Jan. 2020 The path of totality, running across southern Chile and Argentina, will only be about 50 miles wide, but the eclipse promises to pass over some of South America’s most beautiful landscapes. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten Celestial Events You Don’t Want to Miss in 2020," 14 Jan. 2020 Nats’s path to fashion was different from her brother’s. James Reginato, Town & Country, "Outrageous Fortune: Nats, August, and Gigi Gorgeous Getty Are Not Your Typical Old-Money Scions," 14 Jan. 2020 What is harder to tell is whether Xi's increasingly personalized dictatorship is capable of softening its approach and biding its time, which is the only plausible path to peaceful unification. Noah Millman, TheWeek, "The unintended consequences of Taiwan standing up to China," 13 Jan. 2020 Fly from Charleston to New York's JFK airport for $59, or up the coast from Long Beach to San Francisco for $54 (the reverse path is the same price, too). Madison Flager, Condé Nast Traveler, "JetBlue's ‘Big Winter Sale’ Has $44 One-Way Flights," 7 Jan. 2020 This controversial idea bears a noteworthy resemblance to Thomas Kuhn’s theory of scientific revolutions, since Kuhn, like Foucault, saw the history of science as a jagged rather than linear path, marked by abrupt shifts in paradigms. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, "Why Historical Analogy Matters," 7 Jan. 2020 But if, as seems apparent, the company’s cost-cutters led it down the path towards this mess, its engineers may be the ones forced to bring it back out into the light. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "The 1997 merger that paved the way for the Boeing 737 Max crisis," 3 Jan. 2020 Perry said goodbye to the franchise that made him a star and led him down the path to multimillion-dollar television deals with OWN and BET. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Trailer released for ‘A Fall from Grace,’ Tyler Perry’s first movie post the ‘Madea’ era," 3 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of path

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for path

Noun

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

Noun combining form

borrowed from Greek -pathēs "experiencing, undergoing or suffering (as designated by the initial element)," adjectival derivative from páthos "experience, misfortune, emotion" — more at pathos

Note: The agentive meaning of sense 1 is based on loans from German or French (as German Homöopath, French homéopathe homeopath) that appear to be back-formations from abstract nouns ending in -ie (Homöopathie, homéopathiehomeopathy—cf. -pathy).

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about path

Time Traveler for path

Time Traveler

The first known use of path was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for path

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Path.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/path. Accessed 25 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for path

path

noun
How to pronounce -path (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of path

: 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

noun
\ ˈpath How to pronounce path (audio) , ˈpäth \
plural paths\ ˈpat͟hz , ˈpät͟hz \

Kids Definition of path

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

path

noun
\ ˈpath, ˈpȧth How to pronounce path (audio) \
plural paths\ ˈpat͟hz How to pronounce paths (audio) , ˈpaths How to pronounce paths (audio) , ˈpȧt͟hz , ˈpȧths \

Medical Definition of path

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Medical Definition of path (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on path

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for path

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with path

Spanish Central: Translation of path

Nglish: Translation of path for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of path for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about path

Comments on path

What made you want to look up path? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

dull or mediocre

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!