\ ˈpāv How to pronounce pave (audio) \
paved; paving

Definition of pave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to lay or cover with material (such as asphalt or concrete) that forms a firm level surface for travel
2 : to cover firmly and solidly as if with paving material
3 : to serve as a covering or pavement of
pave the way
: to prepare a smooth easy way : facilitate development


pa·​vé | \ pa-ˈvā How to pronounce pavé (audio) \
variants: or less commonly pavéed or pavéd \ pa-​ˈvād How to pronounce pavéd (audio) \ or pave \ pa-​ˈvā How to pronounce pave (audio) \

Definition of pavé (Entry 2 of 2)

of jewels
: set as close together as possible to conceal a metal base

Examples of pave in a Sentence


The crew was paving the road. Some of the roads were paved over. The driveway is paved with concrete. It was said that this country was so rich, the streets were paved with gold.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Our guide, Lach Kim Chhen, takes dirt roads through caught-in-time villages, past rice paddies and muddy fields thick with cotton-candy-pink lotus flowers, instead of driving the faster, paved road. Rebecca Misner, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Deeper in Cambodia," 19 Nov. 2018 The results of a landmark clinical trial, published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine, paves the way for a more efficient and effective medical option. Dorothy Novick, STAT, "FDA shouldn’t allow politics to hurt women suffering miscarriage," 22 June 2018 Sprawling slums without paved roads and running water provide a steady stream of recruits into the crime armies. Ioan Grillo, The New Republic, "When Democracy Isn’t Enough," 6 June 2018 The repeal has paved the way for a new bill allowing abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, without restrictions., "Ireland Votes Yes To Legal Abortion, Reversing Constitutional Clause," 26 May 2018 Across Panoramic Highway and a hundred yards south from the inn, look for a gated, paved road. Brian Coyne, San Francisco Chronicle, "How to ride your bike to Muir Woods," 16 May 2018 Denham, Hurd and Curbelo's move Tuesday would pave the way for a floor vote on a hardline bill from Republican Reps. Tal Kopan, CNN, "Republicans seek enough signatures to force DACA vote in House," 9 May 2018 But character concerns surrounding Moss paved the way for the Cowboys to go with North Carolina defensive end Greg Ellis. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "How the NFL Draft has evolved over decades through the eyes of former players | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 24 Apr. 2018 Thanks to a proposal from the SEC, the NCAA is paving the way for full-fledged football pro days in which NFL personnel evaluate underclassmen considering entering the next year's draft. James Crepea,, "SEC, NCAA pave way for full-fledged NFL junior pro days," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pave.' 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 pave


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1903, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pave


Middle English, from Anglo-French paver, from Latin pavire to strike, pound; perhaps akin to Greek paiein to strike


pavé from French, from past participle of paver to pave

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Dictionary Entries near pave







pavement ant

Statistics for pave

Last Updated

26 May 2019

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Time Traveler for pave

The first known use of pave was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of pave

: to cover (something) with a material (such as stone, tar, or concrete) that forms a hard, level surface for walking, driving, etc.


\ ˈpāv How to pronounce pave (audio) \
paved; paving

Kids Definition of pave

: to make a hard surface on (as with concrete or asphalt) A crew paved a street.
pave the way
: to make it easier for something to happen or for someone to do something

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More from Merriam-Webster on pave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pave

Spanish Central: Translation of pave

Nglish: Translation of pave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pave for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pave

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


a strong desire or propensity

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