[ path-fahyn-der, pahth‐ ]
/ ˈpæθˌfaɪn dər, ˈpɑθ‐ /


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

An Americanism dating back to 1830–40; path + finder


path·find·ing, noun, adjective

Definition for pathfinder (2 of 2)

Pathfinder, The


a historical novel (1840) by James Fenimore Cooper. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for pathfinder

British Dictionary definitions for pathfinder

/ (ˈpɑːθˌfaɪndə) /


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

Derived forms of pathfinder

pathfinding, noun
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

Medical definitions for pathfinder

[ păthfīn′dər ]


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.