the beaten track

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the beaten track

1. A course or route frequently or heavily traveled. I chose that island as a vacation spot because I knew it was off the beaten track and would give me some much-needed solitude. I know people say to be adventurous when traveling, but I like to stay along the beaten track in places I don't know very well.
2. A trend, development, method, etc., that is typical or unoriginal. I generally keep to the beaten track when it comes to books. I'm not fond of reading anything experimental or overly academic. None of us were surprised when James decided to study yoga in India instead of going to college. He has always gone off the beaten track in life.
See also: beaten, track
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

beaten track, (off) the

A well-worn path, (not) the usual route or method. The origin seems obvious, since a much-used route would indeed be flattened by the tramp of many feet. The phrase began to be used figuratively, in the sense of trite or unoriginal, in the seventeenth century or before, and off the beaten track, in the meaning of new or unusual, is just about as old. Samuel Johnson spelled it out in 1751 when he wrote, “The imitator treads a beaten walk.”
See also: beaten
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
References in classic literature ?
There is a want of earnestness in that life of hotels and railroad trains, which so many of our countrymen are content to lead in this strange Old World, and I was distressed to find how far I, myself; had been led along the dusty, beaten track. I had, however, constantly wanted to turn aside into more unfrequented ways; to plunge beneath the surface and see what I should discover.
At some future day, in all probability, the rich harvest of beaver fur, which may be reasonably anticipated in such a spot, will tempt adventurers to reduce all this doubtful region to the palpable certainty of a beaten track. At present, however, destitute of the means of making boats, the trapper stands upon the shore, and gazes upon a promised land which his feet are never to tread.
What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness.
Now, for the first time, he had stepped aside from the beaten track. He told himself that he was not bound to believe Da Souza's story, that he had left Monty with the honest conviction that he was past all human help.
He felt thrust out of the beaten track along which he had so proudly and lightly walked till then.
There was no path here, either, although she advanced quite a way into the forest, winding here and there among the trees and peering through the bushes in an endeavor to find some beaten track.
This latter word of command was perhaps somewhat theatrical and unnecessary, inasmuch as the descent was by a very narrow, steep, and slippery flight of steps, and any rashness or departure from the beaten track must have ended in a yawning water-butt.
Drivers of teams had to shout and swear to make him realize where he was so that he would turn out of the beaten track and let them pass.
"I came down from the north to do a little trading and hunting," he said, "and got way off the beaten track. My head man, who was the only member of the safari who had ever before been in the country, took sick and died.
On approaching nearer, a few more squeals are given, and off they set at an apparently slow, but really quick canter, along some narrow beaten track to a neighbouring hill.
-- young men who had ceased to be young, and had concluded that it was safest to follow the beaten track of the professions -- all these generally said that it was not possible to do so much good in my position.
Neptune lord of the earthquake answered her saying, "Juno, restrain your fury; it is not well; I am not in favour of forcing the other gods to fight us, for the advantage is too greatly on our own side; let us take our places on some hill out of the beaten track, and let mortals fight it out among themselves.
It will not now run against an axe at the first step out of the beaten track of opinion.
His curious sense of a general superiority to Daniel Doyce, which seemed to be founded, not so much on anything in Doyce's personal character as on the mere fact of his being an originator and a man out of the beaten track of other men, suggested the idea.
She gave me the idea of some fierce thing, that was dragging the length of its chain to and fro upon a beaten track, and wearing its heart out.