verb \ˈtrāl\

: to pull (something) behind you especially on the ground

: to be pulled behind someone or something

: to walk or move slowly as you follow behind (someone or something)

Full Definition of TRAIL

intransitive verb
a :  to hang down so as to drag along or sweep the ground
b :  to extend over a surface in a loose or straggling manner <a vine that trails over the ground>
c :  to grow to such length as to droop over toward the ground <trailing branches of a weeping birch>
a :  to walk or proceed draggingly, heavily, or wearily :  plod, trudge
b :  to lag behind :  do poorly in relation to others
:  to move, flow, or extend slowly in thin streams <smoke trailing from chimneys>
a :  to extend in an erratic or uneven course or line :  straggle
b :  dwindle <her voice trailing off>
:  to follow a trail :  track game
transitive verb
a :  to draw or drag loosely along a surface :  allow to sweep the ground
b :  haul, tow
a :  to drag (as a limb or the body) heavily or wearily
b :  to carry or bring along as an addition, burden, or encumbrance
c :  to draw along in one's wake
a :  to follow upon the scent or trace of :  track
b :  to follow in the footsteps of :  pursue
c :  to follow along behind
d :  to lag behind (as a competitor)

Examples of TRAIL

  1. The little girl went to her room, trailing her teddy bear behind her.
  2. The dog's leash was trailing along the ground.
  3. The little girl's teddy bear trailed behind her.
  4. He trailed us as we worked our way up the mountain.
  5. The President is trailing in the polls as the election approaches.
  6. We were trailing by 3 runs at the end of the 6th inning.
  7. Our team trailed their team at the end of the 6th inning.

Origin of TRAIL

Middle English, perhaps from Anglo-French *trailer, alteration of trainer to drag, trail on the ground — more at train
First Known Use: 13th century

Related to TRAIL

bird-dog, chase, course, dog, hound, pursue, run, shadow, tag, tail, trace, track, follow
guide, lead, pilot
See Synonym Discussion at chase



: a path through a forest, field, etc.

: the marks, signs, smells, etc., that are left behind by someone or something and that can often be followed

: a route that someone follows to go somewhere or achieve something

Full Definition of TRAIL

:  something that trails or is trailed: as
a :  a trailing plant
b :  the train of a gown
c :  a trailing arrangement (as of flowers) :  spray
d :  the part of a gun carriage that rests on the ground when the piece is unlimbered
a :  something that follows or moves along as if being drawn along :  train <a trail of admirers>
b (1) :  the streak produced by a meteor
(2) :  a continuous line produced photographically by permitting the image of a celestial body (as a star) to move over the plate
c :  a chain of consequences :  aftermath <the…movement left a trail of bitterness and prejudice behind it — Paul Blanshard>
a :  a trace or mark left by something that has passed or been drawn along :  scent, track <a trail of blood>
b (1) :  a track made by passage especially through a wilderness
(2) :  a marked or established path or route especially through a forest or mountainous region
c :  a course followed or to be followed <hit the campaign trail>
trail·less \ˈtrāl-ləs\ adjective

Examples of TRAIL

  1. Stay on the trail if we get separated.
  2. The car left a trail of smoke as it sped off.
  3. following the trail to success

First Known Use of TRAIL

14th century

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fallow, graft, heirloom, loam, potash, soilage, swath, tilth, windfall
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