Meaning of “path” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"path" in British English

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pathnoun [ C ]

uk /pɑːθ/ us /pæθ/

path noun [ C ] (TRACK)

A2 a route or track between one place and another, or the direction in which something is moving:

a garden path
a concrete path
a well-trodden path
This is the path to the cliffs.
It will be several days before snowploughs clear a path (through) to the village.
They followed the path until they came to a gate.
A fierce fire is still raging through the forest, burning everything in its path (= as it moves forward).
The Weather Service issues warnings to people in the path of a hurricane (= in the area in which it is moving).
The charged particles move in spiral paths.
figurative His path through life was never easy.

More examples

  • The path descended steeply into the valley.
  • When you reach a fork in the road take the right-hand path.
  • After a while the narrow track merges with a rocky path.
  • I tried to push past her but she barred my path .
  • Hundreds of houses in the typhoon's path suffered structural damage.

path noun [ C ] (ACTIONS)

B2 a set of actions, especially ones that lead to a goal or result:

The path to success is fraught with difficulties.

More examples

  • She saw her new job as a step further on the path to independence.
  • I took the path of least resistance and agreed with the others.
  • We must do more to smooth the country's path to democratic reform.
  • The path to peace seems at last to be clear, although it may be a long and tortuous one.
  • Kathy had followed a very different career path to her older sister.


(Definition of “path” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"path" in American English

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pathnoun [ C ]

us /pæθ/

a way or track made by or for people walking on the ground, or a line along which something moves:

a bike path
The forest fire burned everything in its path.

A path is also a set of actions that lead to a result or goal:

Ashe pioneered the path of black tennis players to the top of the game.

physics The path of an electron is the space it travels in around the center of an atom.

(Definition of “path” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)