- a person who finds or makes a path, way, route, etc., especially through a previously unexplored or untraveled wilderness.
- an airplane, or a person dropped from a plane, sent into a target area to illuminate the area for succeeding aircraft.
- a radar beacon beamed into a target area to provide guidance for missiles seeking the target.
- (initial capital letter) an unmanned spacecraft that landed on Mars on July 4, 1997, to obtain climatic and geologic data.
Origin of pathfinder
- a historical novel (1840) by James Fenimore Cooper.
Compare Leather-Stocking Tales.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pathfinder
Eventually, he packed up his Nissan Pathfinder and drove back to Iowa.Drug Dealers to the Stars
October 20, 2010
Besides this, they must read the messages left occasionally by their pathfinder.
It had been arranged that Elmer was to act as pathfinder and tracker.
So you see, to begin with, our pathfinder tells us the enemy ahead are three in number.
Pathfinder showed off handsomely that day before the ladies.Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
He was "the Pathfinder," and second only to Daniel Boone as a frontier hero.Abraham Lincoln
William Eleroy Curtis
- a person who makes or finds a way, esp through unexplored areas or fields of knowledge
- an aircraft or parachutist who indicates a target area by dropping flares, etc
- a radar device used for navigation or homing onto a target
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
Word Origin and History for pathfinder
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A filiform bougie for introduction through a narrow stricture as a guide for the passage of a larger instrument.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.