pave

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the road to hell is paved with good intentions

Good intentions do not matter if a person's actions lead to bad outcomes. A: "I'm sorry, I was only trying to explain where Tom was coming from! I didn't mean to make matters worse." B: "Yeah, well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
See also: good, hell, intention, pave, road

pave the way (for someone or something)

To create a situation in which it is easier for someone to do something or something to happen. Everyone knows your father paved the way for you to get into this school with his money and connections. The new legislation paves the way for banks to repossess people's homes no matter what the circumstance. With their star quarterback paving the way, they look to be on their way to another Super Bowl appearance.
See also: pave, way

pave the way (for someone or something) (with something)

Fig. to prepare the way with something for someone to come or something to happen. (Alludes to paving a road.) I will pave the way for her with an introduction. I am sure I can pave the way for your success. I will pave the way with an introduction.
See also: pave, way

road to hell is paved with good intentions

Prov. People often mean well but do bad things. (Can be a strong rebuke, implying that the person you are addressing did something bad and his or her good intentions do not matter.) Jane: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings; I only wanted to help you. Jane: Oh, yeah? The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
See also: good, hell, intention, pave, road

pave the way

Make progress or development easier, as in Her findings paved the way for developing a new vaccine. This expression alludes to paving a road so it is easier to travel on. [Late 1500s]
See also: pave, way

road to hell is paved with good intentions, the

Well-intended acts can have disastrous results, as in She tried to help by defending Dad's position and they haven't spoken since-the road to hell is paved with good intentions . This proverbial idiom probably derives from a similar statement by St. Bernard of Clairvaux about 1150, L'enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs ("Hell is full of good intentions or wishes"), and has been repeated ever since. [Late 1500s]
See also: good, hell, pave, road

the road to hell is paved with good intentions

People say the road to hell is paved with good intentions to mean that people often intend to do good things but in fact do not, often because they are lazy or weak. She said the road to hell was paved with good intentions, that she really had decided to hand write six dozen personal letters, but she just didn't have the time. Note: Path is sometimes used instead of road. The path to hell is paved with good intentions, and there are many, many pots of vitamin tablets which have been started but never finished. Note: To pave a path or road means to cover it using flat stones called paving stones. The word `pavement' is derived from this word. This expression was used by the writer Samuel Johnson and is mentioned in his biography in an entry dated 16 April 1775, in the form `hell is paved with good intentions'. The idea is that good intentions do not guarantee a good outcome.
See also: good, hell, intention, pave, road

pave the way

COMMON If one thing paves the way for another, the first thing makes it easier for the second to happen. A peace agreement last year paved the way for this week's elections. The deal is likely to pave the way for further corporate sponsorship of the event.
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pave the way for

create the circumstances to enable something to happen or be done.
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ˌpave the ˈway (for somebody/something)

make the arrival of somebody/something easier; prepare for somebody/something: Babbage’s early work on calculating machines in the nineteenth century paved the way for the development of computers.
See also: pave, way

the road to ˌhell is paved with good inˈtentions

(saying) it is not enough to intend to do good things, behave better, etc.; you must actually do them, be better, etc.
See also: good, hell, intention, pave, road

the streets are ˌpaved with ˈgold

(saying) used to say that it seems easy to make money in a place: More and more people are moving to the big cities, where they believe the streets are paved with gold.In the traditional story of Dick Whittington, Dick goes to London because he is told that it is so rich that even the streets are paved with gold, but later finds out that this is not true.
See also: gold, pave, street

pave over

v.
1. To cover thoroughly some surface of land with asphalt, concrete, or other hard surface: The contractor paved over the meadow in order to expand the mall's parking lot. The city paved the dirt road over to accommodate more traffic.
2. To willfully ignore or hide some obvious issue or problem: The politician paved over the whole issue of his voting record in his speech. Instead of simply telling us the real story, she tends to pave it over, even if she did nothing wrong.
See also: over, pave

pave the way

To make progress or development easier: experiments that paved the way for future research.
See also: pave, way