trac·​ing | \ ˈtrā-siŋ How to pronounce tracing (audio) \

Definition of tracing

1 : something that is traced: such as
a : a copy made on a superimposed transparent sheet
b : a graphic record made by an instrument (such as a seismograph) that registers some movement
2 : the act of one that traces

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Examples of tracing in a Sentence

the tracing of this mountain lion is going to be difficult if the rain washes away all of the tracks

Recent Examples on the Web

Combining the genomic data with standard epidemiological tracing gives information not possible to get with either method alone, Andersen said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Hidden Zika outbreak detected with new surveillance method developed by Scripps Research scientists," 22 Aug. 2019 Small suffocated as Edwards made calls from pay phones to demand money, and police used call-tracing devices and surveillance to track down the couple a few days after the kidnapping. Dan Hinkel,, "Judge rejects bid for new sentence for Nancy Rish, convicted in 1987 Kankakee buried-alive suffocation murder," 25 July 2019 Nike provided the court with the initial sketch that Leonard provided the company, which looks like an amateur or child-like tracing in pen of his large hand, with his initials and jersey number accentuated., "Nike countersues NBA star Kawhi Leonard, wants federal case bounced to Oregon," 19 July 2019 Those folks are identified through contact-tracing, a process used to track disease transmission and, ideally, halt its spread. Nichole Sobecki, National Geographic, "The world's second-biggest Ebola outbreak is still raging. Here's why.," 24 May 2019 For years the agency has operated an extensive tracing service, which seeks to reunite people displaced by conflict. Matthew Wolfe, Harper's magazine, "Without a Trace," 10 Feb. 2019 Ten years later and Claudia's work — which is hand-drawn on tracing paper out of her Brooklyn, New York, studio — can be found at Bloomingdales, West Elm, and, of course, Etsy. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "This Is The Designer Behind Those Popular Hand-Illustrated Tea Towels," 23 Aug. 2018 Print hat template and trace onto felt; cut out tracing and assemble with hot glue. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "50+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween," 25 July 2018 Having a fast, non-invasive method such as heavy water tracing would be a great economic boon. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "Yellowstone's magma chamber is more powerful than we knew. Here's why studying it matters.," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tracing.' 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 tracing

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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The first known use of tracing was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for tracing



English Language Learners Definition of tracing

: a copy of a picture, map, etc., that is made by tracing the original


trac·​ing | \ ˈtrā-siŋ\

Kids Definition of tracing

: a copy of something traced from an original


trac·​ing | \ ˈtrā-siŋ How to pronounce tracing (audio) \

Medical Definition of tracing

: a graphic record made by an instrument (as an electrocardiograph) that registers some movement

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More from Merriam-Webster on tracing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tracing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tracing

Nglish: Translation of tracing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tracing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tracing

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


to make a temporary encampment

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