retrace

verb re·trace \ (ˌ)rē-ˈtrās \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of retrace

retraced; retracing
: to trace (something) again or back: such as
a : to go over or along (something, such as a course or path) again often in a reverse direction
  • The hikers retraced the path back to the cabin.
  • … an expedition that retraced Theodore Roosevelt's route along a Brazilian river …
  • —Warren E. Leary
  • He found his phone by retracing his steps/footsteps.
b : to go over (something) again in memory : recall
  • Then she'd retrace memories of her mother, reminiscence, and find enough good things to bring joy back into her life …
  • —Katherine Jones
c : to discover the origin or early history of (something) by going back over previous steps
  • retrace (the origin of) a word to German
d : to follow, study, or present (something) in detail or step by step
  • But there's also a new exhibition in the city that retraces the roots of the Italian fashion industry.
  • —Patrick Boehler
  • Let us retrace his argument.
  • —José Eduardo González
e : to write or draw (something, such as a letter or line) again
  • children tracing and retracing the alphabet
; especially : to write or draw directly over and following along (an existing line, letter, etc.)
  • The penciled shapes were retraced with black marker.
  • The challenge: Connect nine dots, arrayed in three rows of three, using four straight lines without retracing a line or lifting the pen.
  • —Adam Piore

retraceability

play \(ˌ)rē-ˌtrā-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

retraceable

play \(ˌ)rē-ˈtrā-sə-bəl\ adjective
    • a series of easily retraceable steps

First Known Use of retrace

1594

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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RETRACE Defined for Kids

retrace

verb re·trace \ rē-ˈtrās \

Definition of retrace for Students

retraced; retracing
: to go over once more
  • Claudia … grabbed Kevin's hand and started retracing her steps …
  • —E. L. Konigsburg, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler


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