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See also: -path and path-



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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English path, peth, from Old English pæþ (path, track), from Proto-Germanic *paþaz (path) (compare West Frisian paad, Dutch pad, German Pfad), Greek πατέω (patéo) / πάτος (pátos), from Scythian (compare Avestan 𐬞𐬀𐬥𐬙𐬀 (panta, way), 𐬞𐬀𐬚𐬀 (paθa, genitive), Old Persian [script needed] (pathi-)), from Proto-Indo-European *pent- (compare English find).



path (plural paths)

  1. A trail for the use of, or worn by, pedestrians.
    • John Dryden
      The dewy paths of meadows we will tread.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.
  2. A course taken.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I,
      Just before Warwick reached Liberty Point, a young woman came down Front Street from the direction of the market-house. When their paths converged, Warwick kept on down Front Street behind her, it having been already his intention to walk in this direction.
    the path of a meteor, of a caravan, or of a storm
  3. (paganism) A Pagan tradition, for example witchcraft, Wicca, druidism, Heathenry.
  4. A metaphorical course.
  5. A method or direction of proceeding.
    • Bible, Psalms xxv. 10
      All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth.
    • Gray
      The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
  6. (computing) A human-readable specification for a location within a hierarchical or tree-like structure, such as a file system or as part of a URL
  7. (graph theory) A sequence of vertices from one vertex to another using the arcs (edges). A path does not visit the same vertex more than once (unless it is a closed path, where only the first and the last vertex are the same).
  8. (topology) A continuous map   from the unit interval   to a topological space  .


Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


path (third-person singular simple present paths, present participle pathing, simple past and past participle pathed)

  1. (transitive) To make a path in, or on (something), or for (someone).
    • Drayton
      pathing young Henry's unadvised ways

Etymology 2Edit



path (uncountable)

  1. (medicine, abbreviation) Pathology.


  • Oxford English Dictionary [draft revision; June 2005]