blaze a trail

blaze the/a trail

1. Literally, to create a trail by clearing trees and vegetation or simply by marking trees. Does anyone know who blazed the trail through these woods back in the 18th century?
2. By extension, to be the first to do something, often that which is later emulated or built upon by others. I hope that the rest of my family will move to the West Coast if I blaze the trail and relocate there first. The forefathers of medicine blazed a trail for today's doctors.
See also: blaze, trail

blaze a trail

 
1. Lit. to make and mark a trail. The scout blazed a trail through the forest.
2. Fig. to do early or pioneering work that others will follow up on. Professor Williams blazed a trail in the study of physics.
See also: blaze, trail

blaze a trail

Find a new path or method; begin a new undertaking. For example, His research blazed a trail for new kinds of gene therapy. This expression was first used literally in the 18th century for the practice of marking a forest trail by making blazes, that is, marking trees with notches or chips in the bark. [Late 1800s]
See also: blaze, trail

blaze a trail

or

blaze the trail

COMMON If someone blazes a trail or blazes the trail, they are the first person to do or discover something new and important, and this makes it easier for other people to do the same thing. With his first book Parker has blazed a new trail in American literature. The party is blazing the trail for the advancement of women in politics. Note: You can use trail-blazing to describe someone who does something new and important or to describe the thing that they do. Many companies are happy to follow in the shadow of a trail-blazing competitor. This trail-blazing study went into immense detail on the habits of pub-goers. Note: People or organizations who act like this can be called trail-blazers and what they do is called trail-blazing. They are trail-blazers who took on a man's world and made it theirs. Despite all his trail-blazing, he spent most of his life looking back to the works of Chaucer and Edmund Spenser. Note: New trails or routes through forests were often marked by `blazing', which involved making white marks called `blazes' on tree trunks, usually by chipping off a piece of bark.
See also: blaze, trail

blaze a trail

be the first to do something and so set an example for others to follow.
Blaze in this sense comes ultimately from an Old Norse noun meaning ‘a white mark on a horse's face’. In its literal sense, blazing a trail refers to the practice of making white marks on trees by chipping off bits of their bark, thereby indicating your route to those who are following you.
See also: blaze, trail

blaze a/the ˈtrail

be the first to do something important or interesting: As the first female Member of Parliament, she blazed a trail for others to follow. ▶ ˈtrailblazer noun a person who is the first to do or discover something and so makes it possible for others to follow: a trailblazer in the field of genetic engineering ˈtrailblazing adj.: trailblazing scientific researchThe original meaning of this expression was to cut marks (=blazes) into trees so that others could follow the path you had taken through a forest, etc.
See also: blaze, trail

blaze a trail, to

To find a new path or begin a new enterprise. The term comes from the practice of marking a forest trail by making blazes, that is, spots or marks on trees made by notching or chipping away pieces of the bark. The term was first used in eighteenth-century America by scouts who marked new trails for the soldiers behind them, and was used figuratively from the late nineteenth century on.
See also: blaze
References in periodicals archive ?
'With Blaze a Trail in the Arctic as our Philippine campaign promoting the marathon, we aim to encourage Filipinos to live life to the fullest,' he added.
BRADLEY WRIGHT-PHILLIPS reckons Chris Powell can blaze a trail for black football managers despite the lack of a Rooney Rule at present.
Later, La Cucaracha can blaze a trail to victory in the Darley July Cup at the same venue.
EDINBURGH bench coach Jock Hay hopes the return of son Neil will help the Capitals blaze a trail against Coventry in ice hockey's Elite League tonight.
AT 73 YEARS OLD, GENE SAVOY CONTINUES TO BLAZE A TRAIL of enlightenment across the interior of Peru and beyond.
Brookside bosses aim to blaze a trail into the ratings with a red-hot family feud for their Christmas special.
Charles, Mo., U.S.) Early American frontiersman and legendary hero who helped blaze a trail through Cumberland Gap, a notch in the Appalachian Mountains near the juncture of Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.