Origin of trailblaze
Words nearby trailblaze
MORE ABOUT TRAILBLAZE
What does trailblaze mean?
To trailblaze is to literally make a trail where there wasn’t one, such as through a forest or an area of wilderness. In a figurative sense, it means to be the first (or one of the first) to do something, which allows others to follow in that “path” and build on that progress.
The metaphorical meaning of trailblaze is much more common, and the noun trailblazer is more common than the verb.
Example: Her book trailblazed a new kind of young adult fiction.
Where does trailblaze come from?
Trailblaze is a back formation of trailblazer (“a person who blazes trails”), meaning trailblazer came first (it’s first recorded in the early 1900s) and then got turned into the verb trailblaze. The word blaze in this phrase doesn’t mean “to burn brightly” but instead refers to making marks on a trail (called blazes) for others to follow. It is probably derived from Middle Low German blas, meaning “white marking.”
In the original sense, this is what it meant to trailblaze: to mark a path, traditionally by cutting a mark into the bark of trees, so that others could follow the same way. A person who did this was called a trailblazer. Such trailblazers were often pioneers, meaning they blazed those trails on their way to settling new places.
Over time, trailblazer started to be used metaphorically—instead of referring to a person who cut a literal path, it started to mean someone who did something new, like inventing a new medical technique or creating a new kind of art. Importantly, this sense of trailblaze still indicates that what has been done will allow others to follow, especially when they have been prevented from doing so in the past. For example, the first woman to achieve a specific accomplishment (such as to perform a spacewalk) is often said to have trailblazed the way for other women to follow in her footsteps. Just like literally blazing a trail, this is difficult and involves many obstacles, but clearing those obstacles makes it easier for others to follow.
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What are some other forms of trailblaze?
- trailblazer (noun)
- trailblazed (past tense)
- trailblazing (adjective)
What are some synonyms for trailblaze?
What are some words that share a root or word element with trailblaze?
What are some words that often get used in discussing trailblaze?
How is trailblaze used in real life?
Trailblaze is most often used in discussions of someone who was the first to accomplish something, whether they’re a scientist, film director, politician, or other profession. It can also be used in the context of products, like cars or computers, that are the first of their kind.
We were honored to host these four incredible women who have trailblazed in politics and inspired us to use our platforms for social change. Thank you for sharing your stories, uplifting our communities, and leading to build a more equal and just world for all. #EqualityForAll pic.twitter.com/RfqQqMU5bj
— BOLDforce (@BoldForce) December 13, 2018
Congress passed the 19th Amendment (granting women the right to vote) 100 years ago today!!! Appreciate the women who trailblazed our path to equality, but also remember that there's still so much work to do for equal resources, opportunities, and representation 📝
— whit (@nhuoodles) June 5, 2019
I feel like Prettier really trailblazed the path for code formatters. We now have Black (Python), Elixir's Formatter, Brittany (Haskell), Rustfmt, etc.
Prettier showcased the advantage. No nits on PRs, codebases across the entire community are uniform, just so fantastic.
— Ryan Castner (@ryan_castner) December 30, 2018
Try using trailblaze!
Which of the following choices is not a synonym of trailblaze?
A. pave the way
D. clear a path
How to use trailblaze in a sentence
With his radical approach and generosity of spirit, he trailblazed a pathway for global health to be a social justice movement.How Paul Farmer Changed Medicine|Gunisha Kaur|February 22, 2022|Time
A lateral move in the offing provides opportunity to trailblaze new frontiers under existing career auspice.The Stars Predict Your Week|Starsky + Cox|October 9, 2011|DAILY BEAST