1

trace

play
noun \ˈtrās\

Definition of trace

  1. 1a :  a minute and often barely detectable amount or indication a trace of a smileb :  an amount of a chemical constituent not always quantitatively determinable because of minuteness

  2. 2a :  a mark or line left by something that has passed; also :  footprintb :  a path, trail, or road made by the passage of animals, people, or vehicles

  3. 3a :  a sign or evidence of some past thing :  vestigeb :  engram

  4. 4 :  something (such as a line) traced or drawn: such asa :  the marking made by a recording instrument (such as a seismograph or kymograph)b :  the ground plan of a military installation or position either on a map or on the ground

  5. 5a :  the intersection of a line or plane with a planeb :  the usually bright line or spot that moves across the screen of a cathode-ray tube; also :  the path taken by such a line or spot

  6. 6 archaic :  a course or path that one follows

traceless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of trace

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from tracer to trace

Synonym Discussion of trace

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

2

trace

verb

Definition of trace

traced

;

tracing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  delineate, sketchb :  to form (letters, figures, etc.) carefully or painstakinglyc :  to copy (something, such as a drawing) by following the lines or letters as seen through a transparent superimposed sheetd :  to impress or imprint (a design or pattern) with a tracere :  to record a tracing of in the form of a curved, wavy, or broken line trace the heart actionf :  to adorn with linear ornamentation (such as tracery or chasing)

  3. 2a :  to follow or study out in detail or step by step trace the history of the warb :  to discover by going backward over the evidence step by step trace your ancestryc :  to discover signs, evidence, or remains ofd :  to follow the footprints, track, or trail of

  4. 3 :  to lay out the trace of (a military installation)

  5. 4 archaic :  to travel over :  traverse

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to make one's way; especially :  to follow a track or trail

  8. 2 :  to be traceable historically

traceability

play \ˌtrā-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

Examples of trace in a Sentence

  1. The children traced their hands onto the sidewalk with chalk.

  2. You can put a piece of paper over the pattern and trace it.

  3. She traced the letters of her name.

  4. We will need to trace the electrical wires through the walls.

  5. The word amiable traces back to the Latin word for friend.

Origin and Etymology of trace

Middle English, from Anglo-French tracer, from Vulgar Latin *tractiare to drag, from Latin tractus, past participle of trahere to pull


3

trace

noun

Definition of trace

  1. 1 :  either of two straps, chains, or lines of a harness for attaching a draft animal to something (such as a vehicle) to be drawn

  2. 2 :  leader 1e(2)

  3. 3 :  one or more vascular bundles supplying a leaf or twig

Origin and Etymology of trace

Middle English trais, from Anglo-French tres, plural of trait pull, draft, trace — more at trait

Other Animal Husbandry Terms



TRACE Defined for English Language Learners

trace

verb

Definition of trace for English Language Learners

  • : to draw the outline of (something); especially : to copy (a design or picture) by putting a thin piece of paper that you can see through over it and drawing on top of it

  • : to draw (something, such as letters or a picture) especially in a careful way

  • : to follow the path or line of (something)


TRACE Defined for Kids

1

trace

play
noun \ˈtrās\

Definition of trace for Students

  1. 1 :  a mark left by something that has passed or is past “… she seems to have vanished without trace …” — J. K. Rowling, Goblet of Fire

  2. 2 :  a very small amount He speaks with a trace of an accent.


2

trace

play
verb

Definition of trace for Students

traced

;

tracing

  1. 1 :  2sketch 1

  2. 2 :  to form (as letters) carefully

  3. 3 :  to copy (as a drawing) by following the lines as seen through a transparent sheet placed over the thing copied

  4. 4 :  to follow the footprints, track, or trail of

  5. 5 :  to study or follow the development of in detail This book traces the history of art through the ages.

  6. 6 :  to follow something back to its cause or beginning He traced his family's roots.


3

trace

play
noun

Definition of trace for Students

  1. :  either of the two straps, chains, or ropes of a harness that fasten a horse to a vehicle


Medical Dictionary

trace

play
noun \ˈtrās\

Medical Definition of trace

  1. 1:  the marking made by a recording instrument (as a kymograph)

  2. 2:  an amount of a chemical constituent not always quantitatively determinable because of minuteness

  3. 3:  engram

trace

transitive verb

traceable

\-ə-bəl\play adjective


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

lethargy or dullness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!