path S2 W2 /pɑːθ $ pæθ/ BrE AmE noun ( plural paths /pɑːðz $ pæðz/) [countable]
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: pæth ]
1 . TRACK a track that has been made deliberately or made by many people walking over the same ground:
I walked nervously up the garden path towards the front door.
a well-worn path across the grass
Follow the path along the river to the bridge.
a path leading to the summer house
2 . WAY THROUGH SOMETHING the space ahead of you as you move along
Police cleared a path through the protesters.
Damian blocked their path.
3 . DIRECTION the direction or line along which something or someone is moving
in sth’s/sb’s path
The tornado destroyed everything in its path.
into the path of something
She walked into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
4 . PLAN a plan or series of actions that will help you achieve something, especially over a long period of time:
a career path
path to freedom/success/independence etc
She saw a college degree as her path to success.
the same/a different path
I hope you will choose a different path.
5 . sb’s paths cross if two people’s paths cross, they meet by chance:
Our paths did not cross again.
⇨ beat a path (to sb’s door) at ↑ beat 1 (16), ⇨ off the beaten path at ↑ beaten (1), ⇨ ↑ flight path , ⇨ lead somebody up the garden path at ↑ lead 1 (12), ⇨ stand in sb’s path at ↑ stand 1 (30)
• • •
▪ follow a path
We followed a path through the trees.
▪ take a path (=start going along it)
Take the wide path to the right.
▪ keep to the path
They kept carefully to the paths and did not go across the farmer's fields.
▪ a path leads somewhere
There are many paths leading to the top of the mountain.
▪ a path winds
A narrow path wound down towards the beach.
▪ a path climbs (=goes upwards)
I could see the line of a path that climbed up from the bay.
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + path
We walked along a narrow path beside a stream.
A steep path led down to the harbour.
They trudged up the muddy path.
Our guide trod carefully down the rocky path.
He climbed the winding path up the hill.
▪ well-worn (=used a lot or for a long time)
I followed what seemed to be a well-worn path heading in the right direction.
▪ a garden path
Emma came running up the garden path.
▪ a coast/coastal/cliff path
From the cliff path, you get superb views out to sea.
▪ a cycle path (=for people riding bicycles)
They should put a cycle path along the edge of each new road they build.
▪ a bridle path (=for people riding horses)
He knows all the bridle paths through the woods.