Blaze a trail

Blaze a trail is an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom blaze a trail, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Blaze a trail means to lead the way, to be a pioneer, to be the first to do something with the assumption that others will eventually follow. The expression blaze a trail can also be used literally to mean to mark a trail by cutting notches in trees, tying flags to branches, etc. The idea is that one is making a new path for others to follow. The term blaze a trail came into literal use in the 1700s; the figurative meaning of blaze a trail came much later, during the twentieth century. A blaze is a trail marking. Related phrases are blazes a trail, blazed a trail, blazing a trail.

Examples

As long as uninsured Illinoisans struggle to afford reproductive care, the state legislature must blaze a trail by developing programs for all those in need, regardless of medical coverage. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Raised in Mobile, Alabama, Flo grew up listening to Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Young Thug and Anthony Hamilton while watching Nicki Minaj, Trina and Eve blaze a trail for more female rappers to follow them, including herself. (Billboard Magazine)

‘It’s not okay we’ve to go above and beyond to prove ourselves’: female farmers using social media to blaze a trail for equality (Independent)

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