Words related to path
Old English findan "come upon, meet with; discover; obtain by search or study" (class III strong verb; past tense fand, past participle funden), from Proto-Germanic *findan "to come upon, discover" (source also of Old Saxon findan, Old Frisian finda, Old Norse finna, Middle Dutch vinden, Old High German findan, German finden, Gothic finþan), originally "to come upon."
The Germanic word is from PIE root *pent- "to tread, go" (source also of Old High German fendeo "pedestrian;" Sanskrit panthah "path, way;" Avestan panta "way;" Greek pontos "open sea," patein "to tread, walk;" Latin pons (genitive pontis) "bridge;" Old Church Slavonic pǫti "path," pęta "heel;" Russian put' "path, way;" Armenian hun "ford," Old Prussian pintis "road"). The prehistoric sense development in Germanic would be from "to go" to "to find (out)," but Boutkan has serious doubts about this.
Germanic *-th- in English tends to become -d- after -n-. The change in the Germanic initial consonant is from Grimm's Law. To find out "to discover by scrutiny" is from 1550s (Middle English had a verb, outfinden, "to find out," c. 1300).
"highwayman who robs on foot," 1680s, from foot (n.) + pad "pathway, footpath" (1670s), from Middle Dutch pad "way, path," from Proto-Germanic *patha- "way, path" (see pad (v.1), and compare path). Pad was a cant word among thieves and vagabonds, in expressions such as stand pad "stand by the wayside begging." Especially "one of a large class, existing in Europe when police authority was still in an ineffective condition, who made a business of robbing people passing on horseback or in carriages" [Century Dictionary].
"to walk, travel on foot, tramp slowly or wearily along," 1550s, probably from Middle Dutch paden "walk along a path, make a path," from pad, pat "path" (compare path). Originally a cant word among criminals and vagabonds, perhaps of imitative origin (sound of feet trudging on a dirt road). Related: Padded; padding. English also formerly had the noun pad meaning "path, foot path" (1560s), which might be from this verb, or from the Dutch noun, or a variant of path.
1550s, "bundle of straw to lie on," a word of obscure origin (perhaps a merger of several separate words), possibly from or related to Low German or obsolete Flemish pad "sole of the foot," which is perhaps from PIE *pent- "to tread, go" (see find (v.)), but see path (n.).
Sense of "soft cushion" is from 1560s, originally a soft saddle. Generalized sense of "something soft" is from c. 1700. Meaning "cushion-like part on the sole of an animal foot" in English is from 1790. The sense of "a number of sheets fastened or glued together at the edge" (in writing-pad, drawing-pad, etc.) is from 1865.
Sense of "takeoff or landing place for a helicopter or missile" is from 1949; the notion is of something to prevent friction or jarring. The word persisted in underworld slang from early 18c. in the sense "sleeping place," and this was popularized again c. 1959, originally in beatnik speech (later hippie slang) in its original English sense of "place to sleep temporarily," also "a room to use drugs."
"So they call me, young woman, and many a great lord has got a title that he did not half so well merit; though, if truth be said, I rather pride myself in finding my way where there is no path, than in finding it where there is. But the regular troops are by no means particular, and half the time they don't know the difference between a trail and a path, though one is a matter for the eye, while the other is little more than scent."
[Cooper, "The Pathfinder"]