\ˈpāv \
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 \
variants: or less commonly pavéed or pavéd \pa-​ˈvād \ or pave \pa-​ˈvā \

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

But the tax increase and recession shattered the Reagan coalition, as Ross Perot entered the 1992 race, paving the way for Bill Clinton to win. WSJ, "George Herbert Walker Bush," 1 Dec. 2018 Additionally, Marijuana Moment reports that five different cities in Ohio voted to decriminalize pot, potentially paving way for a future ballot measure in favor of statewide adult recreational use. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "Three States Approved Legal Marijuana During Midterm Elections," 7 Nov. 2018 Now, after years of arguing that daily fantasy sports should not be considered sports gambling, Eccles is hoping that new laws paving the way for sports gambling may finally bring him his payday. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "FanDuel’s founder didn’t make a dime when his company was acquired. Now he’s suing for millions.," 14 Aug. 2018 What if Maine Democrats took that incentive for party loyalty off the table by paving the way to an easy general election in 2020? Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "How Maine Democrats Can Save Roe v. Wade," 10 July 2018 Krumenacker rejected their arguments, paving the way for the report’s public release., "Inquirer, other Pa. news outlets sue for access to grand jury report on clergy sex abuse," 29 June 2018 So bravo New Zealand, for championing this right 125 years ago—for the women who well deserve to have an active voice and acknowledged vote, and for all of the people that this effort has paved the way for globally. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Explains What Feminism Means to Her During an Empowering Speech," 29 Oct. 2018 So bravo New Zealand, for championing this right 125 years ago—for the women who well deserve to have an active voice and acknowledged vote, and for all of the people that this effort has paved the way for globally. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Gave a Powerful Speech About Feminism in New Zealand," 28 Oct. 2018 That helped pave the way for the spread of misinformation on the platform that continues today. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why Twitter should ignore the phony outrage over “shadow banning”," 27 July 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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Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for pave

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

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More Definitions for pave


\ˈpāv \
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

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