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Primrose path

Primrose path is an idiom that goes back to at least the early 1600s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of primrose path, where the term came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Primrose path refers to a way of life that is easy and pleasant, but in fact, leads to one’s destruction or some other consequence. It is often expressed as leading someone down the primrose path. The idiom primrose path was first used by William Shakespeare, in his 1602 play, Hamlet: “Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven; Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, And recks not his own rede.”

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Examples

Just one toke, the film warned, and you could be setting off down the primrose path to murder, hallucinations, rape, suicide, and yes, the titular madness. (The Guardian)

“I think a lot of them have been led down a primrose path about how easy it’s going to be to be elected to Congress in these districts,” said Gilliard, who is advising the Walters and Royce campaigns. (The Los Angeles Times)

“I don’t want to lead you down the primrose path here — we’ve been at the edge a few times,” John Holub, chairman of United Auto Workers Local 2308, said during a tour of the plant offered to the Daily News in early July. (The New York Daily News)

“There hasn’t been good communication with some of the problems that have arisen and I think we were led down the primrose path of how great it was going to be,” one resident said. (The Dunwoody Crier)

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