\ 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

When one team name made light of the health condition that felled Wayne, an announcer stopped the tournament in its sandy tracks. Bryce Miller,, "Cover your ears: Over-the-Line evolves, but the raunchy team names remain," 14 July 2018 Criminal damage Someone pulled the passenger side door off its track on a car parked in the 1000 block of Vine Avenue between 11 p.m. July 4 and 7 a.m. July 5. Staff Report,, "Police reports: Fireworks used to set fire to portable toilet in Park Ridge," 13 July 2018 The indictment says that the hackers took additional steps to conceal their tracks, purchasing Bitcoin using prepaid cards and via peer-to-peer exchanges, which facilitate direct transactions between individuals, often unsurveilled. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Someone Found a Use for Bitcoin. Russian Hackers!," 13 July 2018 Before the race, his fiancé suggested honoring Louisville Metro Police Department Officer Nick Rodman, who was killed during a 2017 chase, on his track. Charlie Hatch,, "Louisville-native Ben Rhodes wins Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway," 12 July 2018 Then the railroad ended that dream, pushing its tracks instead to Seattle. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Port Townsend, Washington: Victorian paradise in the Pacific Northwest," 12 July 2018 The 21-year-old Louisville native led a race-high 38 laps and used a daring pit call late in the running to earn his second career NASCAR truck series victory Thursday at his home track in the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville native Ben Rhodes takes NASCAR victory at Kentucky Speedway," 12 July 2018 These same views could be had from inside the shed, too, if the barn door were slid open along its horizontal track. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford will launch sports betting Saturday at its track about 6 miles from Manhattan. Andrew Maykuth,, "Hard Rock casino and Bet365 form partnership to be N.J.'s 5th sports-betting site," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The robot grinds the meat, forms the patties, griddles them (a process tracked by 11 thermal sensors), chops tomatoes and grates cheese for those who want such accoutrements, slices, toasts and butters the bun, and dispenses seasoning and sauces. The Economist, "The rise of the robochef," 12 July 2018 An activist hedge fund index tracked by HFR Inc. returned 5.5% last year compared with the S&P 500’s 22% rise with dividends. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "Activist Investors Turn Up Heat in Drive for Returns," 12 July 2018 The amount of debt held by both mature and emerging markets tracked by the Institute of International Finance rose to a record $247 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, up 11.1 percent from the same period a year ago. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: CFPB further under fire with Kavanaugh pick for Supreme Court," 11 July 2018 Technology fortunes make up about a fifth of the more than $5 trillion in wealth tracked by the Bloomberg index, more than any other sector. Fortune, "Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Becomes the World’s Third-Richest Person, Passing Warren Buffett," 6 July 2018 Technology fortunes make up about a fifth of the more than $5 trillion in wealth tracked by the Bloomberg index, more than any other sector. Tom Metcalf And Jack Witzig,, "Zuckerberg tops Buffett as world's 3rd-richest," 6 July 2018 Most of the oldest workers are concentrated in just 26 of the 455 occupations tracked by the Census Bureau data. Andrew Van Dam,, "A record number of folks age 85 and older are working. Here's what they're doing," 5 July 2018 Boston has added 19,954 apartments and condos (in buildings of five or more units) since 2012, according to data tracked by the Boston Foundation. Beth Teitell,, "With so many new condos in Boston, is it any wonder soundproofers are getting more calls?," 2 July 2018 Of the 28 employees whose work hours were later tracked by the city investigation, 14 had worked at the taqueria longer than a decade, one as long as 35 years. Jonathan Kauffman,, "La Taqueria workers’ risky complaints over unpaid overtime, health care bring reforms," 30 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

12 Sep 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

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