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warpath

[wawr-path, -pahth]
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noun, plural war·paths [wawr-path z, -pahth z, -paths, -pahths] /ˈwɔrˌpæðz, -ˌpɑðz, -ˌpæθs, -ˌpɑθs/.
  1. the path or course taken by American Indians on a warlike expedition.
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Idioms
  1. on the warpath,
    1. seeking, preparing for, or engaged in war or aggressive pursuit.
    2. in a state of anger or indignation; hostile.
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Origin of warpath

An Americanism dating back to 1745–55; war1 + path
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for on the warpath

warpath

noun
  1. the route taken by North American Indians on a warlike expedition
  2. on the warpath
    1. preparing to engage in battle
    2. informalin a state of anger
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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 on the warpath

warpath

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

on the warpath in Culture

on the warpath

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.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.

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warpath

see on the warpath.

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