crossed paths


      • to meet or come into contact with someone
        Describing a situation where two or more people meet or encounter each other unexpectedly

      • to have conflicting interests or goals
        Indicating that two or more individuals or groups have conflicting interests, goals, or opinions

    Examples of crossed paths

    • As I walked down the busy street, I suddenly spotted an old friend from high school. Our paths had crossed once again, reminding me of the many coincidences that occur in life.

      This example uses the idiom "crossed paths" to describe a chance encounter with someone. The phrase "our paths had crossed once again" means that the two people had not seen each other for some time, but now they came across each other unexpectedly. The overall idea is that this type of encounter is a coincidence or happenstance, which can bring back memories and renew acquaintances.

    • After years of working in different cities, my colleague and I found ourselves assigned to the same project. It was a pleasure to once again have our paths cross, and we immediately fell into our old rhythm of working together.

      This example uses the idiom "crossed paths" to describe a business situation where two people, who once worked together, are reunited on a new project. This phrase implies that the reunion is a pleasant surprise and that there is chemistry between the two people as a result of their history working together in the past.

    • In the hustle and bustle of the airport, I almost missed my friend as she hurried by. Our paths had crossed, but only briefly as she rushed to catch her flight.

      This example uses the idiom "crossed paths" to describe a quick encounter between two people. The phrase "our paths had crossed, but only briefly" suggests that the meeting was accidental and fleeting, but still noteworthy because it involved two people who knew each other.

    • As I sat in the crowded café, engrossed in my book, I saw my friend's familiar face approaching. Our paths had crossed again, just as they always seem to do when I least expect it.

      This example uses the idiom "crossed paths" to describe a frequent encounter between two people. The phrase "our paths had crossed again" implies that the two people have a history of encountering each other, possibly due to their shared interests or similar schedules. The overall idea is that this type of frequent coincidence is not unusual or unexpected, but rather something that is part of the fabric of their relationship.

    • Yesterday, I bumped into an old friend from college on the street. It was such a coincidence - we hadn't seen each other in years and our paths had truly crossed.

      The idiom "crossed paths" is used to describe a chance encounter with someone, especially if it is someone you have not seen for a long time. In this example, the speaker and their old friend's paths literally crossed as they both happened to be in the same place at the same time, but the idiom can also be used figuratively to describe meeting someone unexpectedly, even if it's not in person.

    • I applied for the same job as my aunt's husband, but neither of us got the position. It's funny how our paths kept crossing in the interview process, but in the end, we both went our separate ways.

      In this example, the paths of the speaker and their aunt's husband crossed in a more metaphorical sense, as both of them went through the same process for the same job. Even though they both wanted the same goal, their paths ultimately separated when neither of them landed the position.

    • I used to work with a woman who left the company a few years ago. The other day, I ran into her at a coffee shop, and it was a pleasant surprise to see her again. Our paths have truly crossed again.

      This example is similar to the first one, but it shows that the idiom can also be used for people who have previously worked together. In this case, the paths of the speaker and their former colleague have crossed again, perhaps at another unexpected location.

    • Some people say that fate brings certain people into our lives for a reason, and that our paths keep crossing until we learn something from them. I believe that's true in my case with my best friend from high school. Our paths keep crossing, and each time it's a reminder of how important our friendship is.

      In this example, the speaker is using the idiom in a more philosophical way. They see their paths crossing with their best friend as a sign of fate or destiny, and interpret it as a symbolic reminder of the value of their friendship. While it's true that some people might use this idiom in a similar way, not everyone sees their encounters as a sign of a higher power guiding their paths together.


    "Crossed paths" is a versatile idiom that can be used to describe both physical encounters and conflicting interests or goals. It captures the idea of unexpected meetings or interactions, as well as the notion of differing opinions or objectives. This idiom can be applied in various contexts, from personal relationships to professional settings, to convey the idea of crossing paths with someone or something.

    Origin of "crossed paths"

    The origin of the idiom "crossed paths" can be traced back to the metaphorical idea of paths representing the journeys or trajectories of individuals. When paths cross, it signifies an intersection or overlap in these journeys. The concept of crossing paths can be found in literature and storytelling, where characters often meet or clash along their respective paths.

    The idiom likely gained popularity due to its simplicity and visual imagery. The image of two paths crossing conjures up a clear and easy-to-understand metaphor for unexpected encounters or conflicts. Over time, "crossed paths" has become a common expression in everyday language, used to describe a wide range of situations where individuals or groups intersect or clash.