The 2014 NEC adds two definitions that appear on different pages in Art. 100, don’t cross-reference each other, and differ only by one word. Both are electrically conductive paths from the point of ground fault to the electrical supply source. The difference is in whether the path is intended.
Any path back to the electrical source can be a ground fault current path. You don’t want equipment, for example, to be part of that path; this modality is a major cause of motor bea