path


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cut a path

1. To forge or create a pathway or trail, as between people, plant life, across land, etc. The concert was so packed we could barely move, but Jim is so big that he cut a path for us straight to the front of the stage. The falling star cut a path across the darkened sky.
2. To leave a place. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. It's about time to be heading home; what do you say we cut a path on out of here?
See also: cut, path

beat a path to someone's door

Fig. [for people] to arrive (at a person's place) in great numbers. (The image is that so many people will wish to come that they will wear down a pathway to the door.) I have a new product so good that everyone will beat a path to my door. If you really become famous, people will beat a path to your door.
See also: beat, door, path

cross paths (with someone)

Fig. to meet someone by chance and not by choice. The last time I crossed paths with Fred, we ended up arguing about something inconsequential.
See also: cross, path

lead someone down the garden path

 and lead someone up the garden path
to deceive someone. Now, be honest with me. Don't lead me down the garden path. That cheater really led her up the garden path.
See also: down, garden, lead, path

*off the beaten track

 and *off the beaten path
Fig. away from the frequently traveled routes. (*Typically: be ~; go ~; travel ~.) We found a nice little Italian restaurant off the beaten track.
See also: beaten, off, track

on the warpath

very angry. The boss is on the warpath again. Watch out! l am on the warpath about setting goals and standards again.
See also: on, warpath

path of least resistance

Fig. the easiest course to follow; the easiest route. (Often with follow the or take the.) John will follow the path of least resistance. I like challenges. I won't usually take the path of least resistance.
See also: least, of, path, resistance

primrose path

Fig. earthly delights that come to an end. She led him down the primrose path until she got tired of him.
See also: path, primrose

lead somebody down the garden path

also lead somebody up the garden path
to deceive someone Our country has been led down the garden path by the politicians in office.
Etymology: based on the idea that a path in a garden is very pleasant, so someone who is brought along it can be deceived without noticing it
See also: down, garden, lead, path

beat a path to somebody's door

to be very eager to see you Whenever some ordinary guy wins a big lottery, the press beats a path to his door.
See also: beat, door, path

cross your path

to happen to you If you only write about whatever crosses your path each day, your writing may not be very interesting to most readers.
See also: cross, path

off the beaten path

not known or popular with many people off the beaten track She enjoyed going to foreign-language movies that were a little bit off the beaten path.
See also: beaten, off, path

the path of least resistance

the way that is the easiest Thieves usually take the path of least resistance, taking the cars that are easiest to steal.
See also: least, of, path, resistance

off the beaten track

not known or popular with many people off the beaten path Her tastes in reading tend to be off the beaten track.
See also: beaten, off, track

on the warpath

angry and ready to argue or fight Hollywood studios are on the warpath, trying to bring an end to the illegal copying of movies. The little girl went on the warpath in defense of her brother.
See also: on, warpath

beat a path to somebody's door

to be very eager to speak to someone and do business with them Put that ad in the paper and you'll have half the town beating a path to your door.
See also: beat, door, path

be off the beaten track

  (British, American & Australian) also be off the beaten path (American)
if a place is off the beaten track, not many people go there Unfortunately, because the gallery's a bit off the beaten track, it doesn't get many visitors.
See also: beaten, off, track

cross somebody's path

to meet someone, especially by accident If he ever crosses my path again, I'll kill him.
See also: cross, path

lead somebody up the garden path

  (British, American & Australian informal) also lead somebody down the garden path (American informal)
to deceive someone We were led up the garden path about the cost of the building work - it turned out really expensive.
See also: garden, lead, path, up

take the line/path of least resistance

to act in the way which will be easiest because you will not have to argue with other people about it You could always take the line of least resistance and go with the majority vote.
See also: least, line, of, resistance, take

somebody's paths cross

if two people's paths cross, they meet by chance It was a pleasure to meet you. I hope our paths cross again soon.
See also: cross, path

the primrose path

  (literary)
if you lead someone down the primrose path, you encourage them to live an easy life that is full of pleasure but bad for them Unable to enjoy his newly acquired wealth, he felt he was being led down the primrose path that leads to destruction.
See also: path, primrose

beat a path to someone's door

Come to someone in great numbers, as in Ever since she appeared on television, agents have been beating a path to her door. The term beat a path alludes to the trampling action of many feet. [Late 1500s]
See also: beat, door, path

cross someone's path

Encounter or meet someone, especially unexpectedly. For example, John didn't know her name, so he was hoping she would cross his path again soon, or She swore she would scream if a snake crossed her path. This phrase originally implied that such an encounter meant obstructing or thwarting a person, but in current usage this is not necessarily true. [Early 1600s]
See also: cross, path

lead down the garden path

Also, lead up the garden path. Deceive someone. For example, Bill had quite different ideas from Tom about their new investment strategy; he was leading him down the garden path . This expression presumably alludes to the garden path as an intentional detour. [Early 1900s] Also see lead on.
See also: down, garden, lead, path

least resistance, line of

Also, path of least resistance. The easiest method, way, or course of action. For example, He tends to do what most people seem to want, taking the line of least resistance. This term employs resistance in the sense of "the physical opposition of one thing or force to another," a usage dating from the early 1600s. It has been used figuratively since about 1900.
See also: least, line, of

off the beaten track

An unusual route or destination, as in We found a great vacation spot, off the beaten track. This term alludes to a well-worn path trodden down by many feet and was first recorded in 1860, although the phrase beaten track was recorded in 1638 in reference to the usual, unoriginal way of doing something.
See also: beaten, off, track

on the warpath

Furious and on a hostile course of action, as in When the meat wasn't delivered, the chef went on the warpath. This expression was an English translation of a Native American term that literally means "a path used by a war party." Go on the war path thus meant "go to battle." It was used in this way by James Fenimore Cooper in The Deerslayer (1841); its present hyperbolic use dates from the late 1800s.
See also: on, warpath

on the warpath

mod. very angry. I am on the warpath about setting goals and standards again.
See also: on, warpath

lead down garden path

Deceive. The path to which the phrase refers meant an intentional detour, so to escort someone down it was to mislead a person who relied on your honesty.
See also: down, garden, lead, path
References in classic literature ?
So steadily she floated on, till straight before her lay a broad, bright path, that led up to a golden arch, beyond which she could see shapes flitting to and fro.
A path leading down from the mountain was soon seen, and, following it, the party were in a short time fairly in the Happar valley.
I resisted all pressure to stay for lunch, and I set off at once upon my return journey, taking the grass-grown path by which we had come.
I could not move swiftly over the rough, broken ground, but as I looked round me in despair I saw a well-marked, hard-beaten path which ran across in front of me.
It also related that once when Red-Cap was again taking cakes to the old grandmother, another wolf spoke to her, and tried to entice her from the path.
So the old Nome climbed the foothills and trudged along the wild mountain paths until he came to a big gully that encircled the Mountain of Phantastico and marked the boundary line of the dominion of the Phanfasms.
All the morning they trudged up the mountain path and at noon Unc and Ojo sat on a fallen tree-trunk and ate the last of the bread which the old Munchkin had placed in his pocket.
It is a beautiful path, my son," said the Old Politician, without either slackening his pace or turning his head, "and it leadeth among pleasant scenes.
He pushed on the quicker, twirling his staff merrily, and looking out at every turn of the path for some sign of the old Saxon residence.
The path came to an end just beside this great rock, and for a moment it puzzled the girl to know why the path had been made at all.
I frequently had to look up at the opening between the trees above the path in order to learn my route, and, where there was no cart-path, to feel with my feet the faint track which I had worn, or steer by the known relation of particular trees which I felt with my hands, passing between two pines for instance, not more than eighteen inches apart, in the midst of the woods, invariably, in the darkest night.
Musing on the strangeness of life, and on the invariable ultimate triumph of the insignificant and small over the important and vast, illustrated in this instance by the easy substitution in the arbour of slugs for grandfathers, I went slowly round the next bend of the path, and came to the broad walk along the south side of the high wall dividing the flower garden from the kitchen garden, in which sheltered position my father had had his choicest flowers.
Rouletabille answered me by pointing to the path which ran quite close to the thicket to the door of the pavilion.
Jordan says that paths are left between the harems, and that as long as the holluschickie keep strictly to the path they are unmolested by the masters of the harem.
A new will teach I unto men: to choose that path which man hath followed blindly, and to approve of it--and no longer to slink aside from it, like the sick and perishing!