blaze (the/a) trail

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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
References in classic literature ?
It was not till four years after Strickland's death that Maurice Huret wrote that article in the Mercure de France which rescued the unknown painter from oblivion and blazed the trail which succeeding writers, with more or less docility, have followed.
But Walsh believes it's Taylor that blazed the trail for women's boxing and that she is fighting in a more competitive weight.
The seven-minute solo showcase of his turntable skills, which sampled Blondie's Rapture, Queen's Another One Bites the Dust and Chic's Good Times, was the first record to feature scratching and blazed the trail for many of today's DJ techniques.
FORMER Wales captain Vinnie Jones has blazed the trail for footballers heading to Hollywood, and Norwegian striker John Carew could be following him soon.
Burnout may have blazed the trail, but Split/ Second is certainly following up with a fiery flourish.
Salmond said: "Billy Wolfe blazed the trail in the professionalisation and organisation of the SNP and he transformed it into a modern political party."
Frankie Dettori blazed the trail on Echo Of Light, who galloped on too strongly for the rest.
More importantly older lesbians and gay men have blazed the trail foryoung LGBTs today facing true discrimination and homophobia, before the word was even invented.
"Mindy has blazed the trail for women in the industrial real estate industry having begun her career at a time when women were not readily seen on the industrial side of the industry," said Susan Strauss, project manager of CBRE and past-president of ICREW 2005.
Far from being the antithesis of today's federal leviathan, Fields and Peckham blazed the trail for it.
If Clooney wanted to prove that the news media had been terrorized and intimidated by McCarthy, and that Murrow had blazed the trail by being the first to criticize McCarthy, he's done a terrible job of it.
The 11,500gns purchase blazed the trail under Steve Drowne and held on from the fast-finishing Queen Of Night.
Consider the fact that the drive against Social Security is being led by some of the same think tanks--and even the same individuals within them--who blazed the trail to welfare reform.
Winston followed Ansellman as Jack Berry's eight-year-old blazed the trail. Taking the lead one furlong out, he ran on well to score by one- and-a-half lengths.
While the Shops at Columbus Circle have blazed the trail for retail development in the Upper West Side, they are warmly welcoming the 86,000 s/f of new retail at 1880 Broadway, the retail portion of the Zeckendorf's much anticipated 15 Central Park West residential development.