pave the way

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



From the idea that once a paved path has been laid, travel on the route is easier and smoother for others.



pave the way (third-person singular simple present paves the way, present participle paving the way, simple past and past participle paved the way)

  1. (idiomatic, often followed by for) To make future development easier.
    Germany's development of rocket weapons paved the way for human controlled spaceflight.
    • 1705, Robert Fleming, “[The Epistle Dedicatory]”, in Christology. A Discourse Concerning Christ: Considered I In Himself, II In His Government, and III In Relation to His Subjects and Their Duty to Him. In Six Books. Being a New Essay towards a farther Revival and Re-introduction of Primitive-Scriptural-Divinity, by way of Specimen, London: Printed for Andrew Bell, and the Bible and Cross-Keys in Cornhill, OCLC 977957523, page ix:
      A perverting of this Firſt and Original Chriſtian Principle, by Political and Aſpiring Church-Guides, [] did not only pave the way for Popery, but both laid the Foundation thereof and finiſh'd its Superſtructure: []
    • 1876, Henry Southgate, “A Few Things My Wife, when Won, Will Like Me to Observe and Do”, in The Way to Woo and Win a Wife. Illustrated by a Series of Choice Extracts, together with some Original Matter never before Printed, London; Edinburgh: William P. Nimmo, [...] 14 King William Street, Strand, OCLC 977655484, page 262:
      The gratification of one inordinate pursuit paves the way for another; and no sooner is the present vain wish indulged, than a future imagined necessity arises, equally importunate.
    • 1972, “Revolution at Floodtide”, in Thomas G[arden] Barnes and Gerald D[onald] Feldman, editors, Nationalism, Industrialization, and Democracy 1815–1914 (A Documentary History of Europe; III), Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown and Company, OCLC 287083; republished Lanham, Md.; London: University Press of America, 1980, →ISBN, page 91:
      Prince Louis Napoleon was president of France, and his dictatorial behaviour was paving the way for his assumption of the imperial crown.
    • 1988, Sue-Ellen Case, “Radical Feminism and Theatre”, in Feminism and Theatre, New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, page 62:
      As we have seen, some of the women active before the feminist movement showed a concern for women's oppression and rights and helped pave the way for the exploration of women's issues in performance.
    • 2013, John Hart, “The Storyboard’s Beginnings”, in The Art of the Storyboard: A Filmmaker’s Introduction, Burlington, Mass.; Oxford: Focal Press, Elsevier, →ISBN, page 1:
      The film industry's current use of storyboards as a preproduction, pre-visualization tool owes its humble beginnings to the original Sunday comics. Pioneers like Winsor McKay,[sic, meaning McCay] whose Gertie the Dinosaur [] and animation of the Sinking of the Lusitania (1915) established him as the true originator of the animated cartoon as an art form. He paved the way for [Walt] Disney and others.