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[path, pahth] /pæθ, pɑθ/
noun, plural paths [path z, pahth z, paths, pahths] /pæðz, pɑðz, pæθs, pɑθs/ (Show IPA)
a way beaten, formed, or trodden by the feet of persons or animals.
a narrow walk or way:
a path through a garden; a bicycle path.
a route, course, or track along which something moves:
the path of a hurricane.
a course of action, conduct, or procedure:
the path of righteousness.
Mathematics. a continuous curve that connects two or more points.
Computers. the sequence of steps that a computer follows in carrying out a routine, as in storing and retrieving a file at a specific location.
cross one's path, to encounter or meet unexpectedly:
Tragedy crossed our path again.
Origin of path
before 900; Middle English; Old English pæth; cognate with German Pfad
Related forms
multipath, noun
outpath, noun
1. footpath, pathway. Path, lane, trail are passages or routes not as wide as a way or road. A path is a way for passing on foot; a track, beaten by feet, not specially constructed, is often along the side of a road: a path through a field. A lane is a narrow road or track, generally between fields, often enclosed with fences or trees; sometimes it is an alley or narrow road between buildings in towns: a lane leading to a farmhouse; Drury Lane. A trail is a rough way made or worn through woods, or across mountains, prairies, or other untraveled regions: an Indian trail. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cross path
Historical Examples
  • A liturgic sound reaches our ears at a cross path off the road, and a general silence is made in the thick crowd.

  • Stan sent the bike into a cross path and was out of the beam and headed away from the road.

  • She could put you down at the cross path, if you could run that bit in the dark.

    Into the Highways and Hedges F. F. Montrsor (Frances Frederica)
  • As she finished, Mr. Hennessy rode away on a cross path, and Dick Forrest dropped back to squire his wife on the other side.

  • I was deep in my speculations, when suddenly a horse bounded past me by a cross path.

  • He came to a cross path, and a man lurched down it and against him.

    The Brand of Silence Harrington Strong
  • Unfortunately, on turning by the Allofroy farm, we shall have to leave the highroad and take the cross path; and then—my gracious!

  • Here we leave the main road for a cross path, when we may be said to become fully acquainted with a cochs peculiarities.

  • I came to a cross road, or cross path, grassy paths both, with creeping green moss among the roots of the trees on either side.

    The Worn Doorstep Margaret Sherwood
  • It was easy to go there now: by a cross path he could be at the mansion almost as soon as by the direct road.

    Two on a Tower Thomas Hardy
British Dictionary definitions for cross path


noun (pl) paths (pɑːðz)
a road or way, esp a narrow trodden track
a surfaced walk, as through a garden
the course or direction in which something moves: the path of a whirlwind
a course of conduct: the path of virtue
(computing) the directions for reaching a particular file or directory, as traced hierarchically through each of the parent directories usually from the root; the file or directoryand all parent directories are separated from one another in the path by slashes
Derived Forms
pathless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English pæth; related to Old High German, German Pfad
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cross path



Old English paþ, pæþ "path, track," from West Germanic *patha- (cf. Old Frisian path, Middle Dutch pat, Dutch pad, Old High German pfad, German Pfad "path"), of unknown origin. The original initial -p- in a Germanic word is an etymological puzzle. Watkins says the word is "probably borrowed (? via Scythian) from Iranian *path-," from PIE root *pent- "to tread, go, pass" (cf. Avestan patha "way;" see find (v.)), but this is too much of a stretch for OED and others. In Scotland and Northern England, commonly a steep ascent of a hill or in a road.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for cross path


Port Authority Trans-Hudson
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with cross path
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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