early 14c., paven, "to cover (a street) with blocks of stone, tiles, or similar hard material set regularly and firmly in place," from Old French paver "to pave" (12c.), perhaps a back-formation from Old French pavement or else from Vulgar Latin *pavare, from Latin pavire "to beat, ram, tread down," from PIE root *pau- (2) "to cut, strike, stamp." Related: Paved; paving. The figurative sense of "make smooth or easy" (in pave the way "prepare the way for something to come") is attested from 1580s.
updated on March 03, 2020