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[wawr-path, -pahth] /ˈwɔrˌpæθ, -ˌpɑθ/
noun, plural warpaths
[wawr-path z, -pahth z, -paths, -pahths] /ˈwɔrˌpæðz, -ˌpɑðz, -ˌpæθs, -ˌpɑθs/ (Show IPA)
the path or course taken by American Indians on a warlike expedition.
on the warpath,
  1. seeking, preparing for, or engaged in war or aggressive pursuit.
  2. in a state of anger or indignation; hostile.
Origin of warpath
An Americanism dating back to 1745-55; war1 + path Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for on the warpath


the route taken by North American Indians on a warlike expedition
on the warpath
  1. preparing to engage in battle
  2. (informal) in a state of anger
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for on the warpath



1775, in reference to North American Indians, from war (n.) + path (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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on the warpath in Culture

on the warpath definition

From a Native American expression for war, to be “on the warpath” is to be exceedingly angry and to be inclined to take some hostile action: “Watch out! John is on the warpath today.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for on the warpath

on the warpath

adjective phrase

Truculent; looking for a fight •The original Native American sense is found by 1841 (1880+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with on the warpath

on the warpath

Furious and on a hostile course of action, as in When the meat wasn't delivered, the chef went on the warpath. This expression was an English translation of a Native American term that literally means “a path used by a war party.”Go on the war path thus meant “go to battle.” It was used in this way by James Fenimore Cooper in The Deerslayer (1841); its present hyperbolic use dates from the late 1800s.


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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