\ 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
a : one suffering from a disorder (of such a part or system) psychopath
b : one perceiving telepath

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Geauga Park District Naturalist Renell Roebuck will start you on the right path with a different nature study topic each month beginning Monday, July 20 with the series’ introduction. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "Sniff out some new activities during the dog days of summer: Valley Views," 13 July 2020 The storm is currently on path to pass through the tri-state area and parts of New England on Friday. NBC News, "Tropical Storm Fay: Path, updates and forecast," 10 July 2020 After narrowly avoiding the total destruction of the Earth via time travel, the super siblings are dropped into the year 1963 on an alternate timeline in which the world is still on the path to annihilation. Ineye Komonibo,, "Your Favorite Super Siblings Are Taking On The Apocalypse — Again," 10 July 2020 My goal throughout this season has been to be accountable to my healing journey with like-minded friends on the same path. Paris Alexandra, SELF, "5 Ways I’m Centering My Black Joy and Protecting My Peace," 9 July 2020 While part of the joy of exploring Mother Nature is seeing new and beautiful views, if your road trip includes a hike, stay on the marked path. Lindsay Tigar, CNN Underscored, "Everything you need to go on the safest road trip possible," 9 July 2020 Mexico, the world’s 14th largest economy, saw flat GDP growth last year and is on a path to a 10% collapse this year. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "López Obrador heads to DC to court Trump, an immigrant basher he needs as Mexico’s economy flails," 8 July 2020 The Trump plan and Netanyahu’s push for annexation have clarified, in a final way, the contradictions and compromises involved in the idea of the Palestinian Authority’s serving as a staging-post on a path to independence and statehood. Tareq Baconi, The New York Review of Books, "Israel’s Annexation Plan, a New Era in Palestinian Resistance," 2 July 2020 There hasn't yet been a shutdown at the same scale as those in some states earlier this year, and some places like New York seem to still be on the right path, but the new surge in cases has come sooner than the Fed expected. TheWeek, "The Fed's fears about another economic downturn later this year may already be coming true," 1 July 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.

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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 (Homöopathie, homéopathiehomeopathy—cf. -pathy).

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Time Traveler for path

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for path

Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Path.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for path


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


\ 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 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)

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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 Encyclopedia article about path

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