\ ˈpath How to pronounce path (audio) , ˈpäth \
plural paths\ ˈpat͟hz How to pronounce path (audio) , ˈpaths , ˈpät͟hz , ˈpäths How to pronounce path (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
2a : one suffering from a disorder (of such a part or system) psychopath
b : one perceiving telepath

Synonyms for path

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Strange’s hands were shattered, and both were put on the path to find answers through magic and the multiverse. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 May 2022 The report notes that there’s a wide gap between the current trajectory of U.S. emissions and the trajectories needed to meet emissions targets, and its authors note that getting on the right path isn’t easy. Alex Knapp, Forbes, 7 May 2022 The authors of the JAMA article acknowledged the current uncertainties and that the coming months will provide some clarity on the best path forward. Maggie O'neill, SELF, 5 May 2022 Cleveland’s historic Variety Theatre is on the path to make its grand return as a live music venue, following its recent sale to former Mahall’s owner Kelly Flamos. Annie Nickoloff, cleveland, 4 May 2022 There is no middle ground on the path to a livable future, at least not anymore. Mary Annaïse Heglar, The New Republic, 3 May 2022 Whatever Kim and Mike have transformed into, there is no question that Jimmy is on the path to decay. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 3 May 2022 With its selection as the Human Landing System for Artemis, the large, cutting-edge vehicle is now on the critical path to landing humans on the Moon, NASA's most ambitious human spaceflight program in half a century. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 2 May 2022 Granada Hills remains on a path to be the No. 1 seed in the Open Division. Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of path


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

History and Etymology for path


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 (as German Homöopathie, French homéopathie homeopathy—cf. -pathy).

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Time Traveler for path

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

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Path.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for path


\ 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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on path

Nglish: Translation of path for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of path for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about path


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