a parting of the ways

parting of the ways

A point at which people or entities separate, depart from, or stop associating with one another. The disagreement has led to a parting of the ways between the two global superpowers. I told her I wasn't willing to have children, so we came to a parting of the ways.
See also: of, parting, way

a (or the) parting of the ways

a point at which two people must separate or at which a decision must be taken.
This phrase has its origins in Ezekiel 21:21: ‘the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways’.
See also: of, parting, way

a/the ˌparting of the ˈways


1 the place where two or more people who have been travelling together separate and take different routes: We travelled to India together, and in Delhi it was the parting of the ways. Ray went on to China and I went on to Australia.
2 the time when two or more people who have been working, living, etc. together separate and begin a new period in their lives: After college it was the parting of the ways. We all went to live in different parts of the country and gradually we lost touch.
See also: of, parting, way

parting of the ways, a

A point of decision between two alternatives. This term stems from the Bible (Ezekiel 21:21): “For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways,” when he had to decide whether or not to attack Jerusalem. It continues to be so used. Moreover, when applied to two or more persons or groups, it implies that they will choose different paths or courses of action.
See also: of, parting