\ˈtrak \

Definition of track 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a footprint whether recent or fossil the huge track of a dinosaur

2a : detectable evidence (such as the wake of a ship, a line of footprints, or a wheel rut) that something has passed

b : a path made by or as if by repeated footfalls : trail

c : a course laid out especially for racing

d : the parallel rails of a railroad

e(1) : material recorded especially on or as if on a track instrumental tracks a bonus commentary track on a DVD

(2) : one of a series of parallel or concentric paths along which material (such as music or information) is recorded (as on a phonograph record or magnetic tape)

(3) : a group of grooves on a phonograph record containing recorded sound

f : a usually metal way (such as a groove) serving as a guide (as for a movable lighting fixture)

3a : a sequence of events : a train of ideas : succession

b : an awareness of a fact, progression, or condition keep track of the costs lose track of the time

4 : track-and-field sports especially : those performed on a running track

5a : the course along which something moves or progresses

b : a way of life, conduct, or action

c : one of several curricula of study to which students are assigned according to their needs or levels of ability

d : the projection on the earth's surface of the path along which something (such as a missile or an airplane) has flown

6a : the width of a wheeled vehicle from wheel to wheel and usually from the outside of the rims

b : the tread of an automobile tire

c : either of two endless belts on which a tracklaying vehicle travels

in one's tracks

: where one stands or is at the moment : on the spot was stopped in his tracks

on track

: achieving or doing what is necessary or expected


tracked; tracking; tracks

Definition of track (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to follow the tracks or traces of : trail

b : to search for by following evidence until found track down the source

2a : to follow by vestiges : trace

b : to observe or plot the moving path of (something, such as a spacecraft or missile) often instrumentally

3a : to carry (mud or other material) on the feet and deposit tracking mud into the kitchen

b : to make tracks upon

4 : to keep track of (something, such as a trend) : follow

5 : to travel over : traverse track a desert

intransitive verb

1 : travel a comet tracking eastward

2a of a pair of wheels

(1) : to maintain a constant distance apart on the straightaway

(2) : to fit a track or rails

b of a rear wheel of a vehicle : to follow accurately the corresponding fore wheel on a straightaway

c of a phonograph needle : to follow the groove undulations of a recording

3 : to leave tracks (as on a floor)

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Other Words from track


trackless \ ˈtrak-​ləs \ adjective


tracker noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for track

Synonyms: Noun

imprint, trace, trail

Synonyms: Verb

bird-dog, chase, course, dog, follow, hound, pursue, run, shadow, tag, tail, trace, trail

Antonyms: Verb

guide, lead, pilot

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Choose the Right Synonym for track


trace, vestige, track mean a perceptible sign made by something that has passed. trace may suggest any line, mark, or discernible effect. the killer left no traces vestige applies to a tangible reminder such as a fragment or remnant of what is past and gone. boulders that are vestiges of the last ice age track implies a continuous line that can be followed. the fossilized tracks of dinosaurs

Examples of track in a Sentence


Follow the track into the forest. The train to Chicago will leave track 3.


He tracked the deer for a mile. The detectives tracked the killer to Arizona. The ship can track incoming missiles with radar. Meteorologists are tracking the storm. The study tracked the patients over the course of five years. The squadron will track north by northeast for 40 miles.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Johnson and his peers all point to the unique and challenging design of the track. Jason Hoffman,, "Toyota owns Kentucky Speedway while Chevrolet finds itself chasing the Camry," 13 July 2018 Commuters who use the parking lots south of the tracks are advised to follow posted detour signs and, as an alternative, daily fee commuter parking is available at the Oak Lawn and Worth stations, according to Metra. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Repairs to close Chicago Ridge railroad crossing," 9 July 2018 Greg Orman, who is running as an independent for Kansas governor, stopped to shake hands and was lagging far behind the bulk of his group of volunteers and campaign workers when he was caught on the wrong side of the tracks. The Kansas City Star, kansascity, "Train through July 4 parade separates this Kansas candidate from his delegation," 5 July 2018 And that Jesse Owens won his four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin games in a pair of track spikes courtesy of the brothers Rudolf and Adi Dassler, the future founders of Puma and Adidas, respectively. Ash Carter, New York Times, "How Sneakers Intersect With Recent American History," 5 July 2018 Step Up was a lovely story about two people from different sides of the track who are united in love and success through dance. Jaya Saxena, GQ, "Step Up 2: The Streets Is Actually the Best Step Up Movie (And It's on Netflix)," 4 July 2018 Some of the tracks were mashed up with Beethoven compositions. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Classical Music Can Learn From Kanye West," 2 July 2018 The Bangtail Divide Trail, which boasts 20-plus miles of single track, is one of her favorite rides. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "For Intense Exercise During Recovery, She Just Added Water," 30 June 2018 The track is the 12.9-mile (20.8km) Nürburgring Nordschleife, and Porsche factory driver Timo Bernhard drove a Porsche 919 Evo around it in just 5:19.55. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Porsche shatters the Nürburgring record we thought was unbreakable," 30 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The left-hander scurried along the baseline, this way and that, using a combination of quickness and anticipation to track down what often appeared to be winners for Williams but were not enough to end a point. Howard Fendrich,, "Angelique Kerber outplays Serena Williams, wins her first Wimbledon title," 14 July 2018 These are exceptional Champagnes that are often hard to track down, but a great wine shop will have a few hidden away in the back room. 2. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "A Champagne Lover’s Guide to Hosting a Last-Minute Bastille Day Soirée," 13 July 2018 Orioles utility man Jace Peterson left the 10-2 loss to the New York Yankees in the back half of Monday’s doubleheader after banging his knee into the outfield wall trying to track down a double by Neil Walker, manager Buck Showalter said. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles' Jace Peterson leaves second game of doubleheader with knee injury, 'day-to-day'," 10 July 2018 The main thrust of this push is to track down people who gamed the deportation system: those who were ordered deported but later gained citizenship or legal residency under a different identity. Adiel Kaplan, miamiherald, "Miami grandma targeted as U.S. takes aim at naturalized immigrants with prior offenses," 9 July 2018 On Monday, Fabian said nine of the parents have been deported and nine have been released, making them more difficult to track down. NBC News, "Judge extends deadline as U.S. struggles to reunify migrant families," 9 July 2018 He and a few others wanted to track down Ryan’s wife. Erin Browne, The Cut, "Befriending the Woman Who Catfished Me," 5 July 2018 Investigators worked to track down the suspected driver, Eric Avelar, 45, using license plate recognition technology and officers arrested him on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, Chandler said. Claire Morgan And Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Victim in Stockton Boulevard electric wheelchair hit-and-run identified," 3 July 2018 In Detroit, the 2016 death of 64-year-old Maurice Parker Mims prompted a campaign to track down the hit-and-run driver of a Chevrolet Impala, which struck Mims in a crosswalk on Veterans Day, authorities said. Detroit Free Press, "Death on foot," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'track.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of track


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1565, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for track


Middle English trak, from Middle French trac

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Statistics for track

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for track

The first known use of track was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for track



English Language Learners Definition of track

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a mark left on the ground by a moving animal, person, or vehicle

: a path or trail that is made by people or animals walking through a field, forest, etc.

: a pair of metal bars that a train, trolley, or subway car rides along



English Language Learners Definition of track (Entry 2 of 2)

: to follow and try to find (an animal) by looking for its tracks and other signs that show where it has gone

: to follow and find (someone or something) especially by looking at evidence

: to follow or watch the path of (something)


\ˈtrak \

Kids Definition of track

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a mark left by something that has gone by rabbit tracks

3 : the rails of a railroad

4 : a course laid out for racing

5 : awareness of things or of the order in which things happen or ideas come I've lost track of the time. Keep track of your expenses.

6 : either of two endless metal belts on which a vehicle (as a tank) travels

7 : track-and-field sports


tracked; tracking

Kids Definition of track (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to follow the marks or traces of : to search for someone or something

2 : to bring indoors on the bottom of the shoes, feet, or paws Don't track mud into the house.

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Comments on track

What made you want to look up track? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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