\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

Pat Gengler said sheriff's deputies responded at 11:20 p.m. on a report of a call to assist the Maple Park Fire Department with a victim trapped in a vehicle on the track. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Morton Grove race car driver killed in Sycamore Speedway crash," 14 July 2018 Meanwhile, the band continues to get back on track. Christa Titus, Billboard, "Nature G Reunites Mongolian Folk Metal Band Tengger Cavalry For 'Heart': Exclusive," 13 July 2018 Lilis’ experience meshes with the deal-making frenzy going on as the Permian stays on track to produce more oil than any OPEC nation except Saudi Arabia within five years. Jordan Blum, San Antonio Express-News, "Lilis may be an acquisition target," 13 July 2018 On the site, a friendly, digital retirement coach named Avo℠ offers a personalized action plan for getting your retirement savings on track. Stephanie Walden, USA TODAY, "How to find balance and get your retirement plan back on track," 13 July 2018 But even those ships are on track be more carbon responsible than planes in the future. Mejs Hasan, WIRED, "The Ultimate Carbon-Saving Tip? Travel by Cargo Ship," 12 July 2018 Production spending fell slightly to $1.37 billion last year, but 2018 is on track to be another strong year and could tie the record, city officials say. Erik Heinrich,, "Toronto has been a film and TV hub for decades. Now Guillermo del Toro may give the Canadian city an edge," 12 July 2018 If one or both spouses lose a job, a couple will have even fewer resources to get back on track. Anne Tergesen, WSJ, "Behind on Retirement Savings? It’s Not Too Late to Catch Up," 12 July 2018 Drought plan stalled, now on track Water levels at Lake Mead sat at just more than 1,076 feet above sea level on Wednesday — about a foot and a half away from shortage levels. Joshua Bowling, azcentral, "As the Arizona drought persists, Phoenix's water use continues to drop," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The film, which has worn its summer popcorn Die Hard and Towering Inferno influences on its sleeve, is tracking to open to $33 million to $40 million stateside. Chris Thilk, The Hollywood Reporter, "Dwayne Johnson's 'Skyscraper' Sells Itself as an Action Throwback," 13 July 2018 The authors track the differential in values, between 1971 and 2017, of properties at different levels of elevation and risk from sea-level rise (based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey), while controlling for other factors. Richard Florida, WIRED, "Climate Change Will Force the Poor From Their Homes," 13 July 2018 Service automatically tracks travel delays and flight issues and matches them with travelers that were on those flights. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "How I saved $500 on my vacation ... and how you can, too," 12 July 2018 The lawyers tracked down medical records, including a CT scan of the brain that Mendez’s trial attorney had not received, said Paula Mitchell, one of Mendez’s attorneys. Marisa Gerber,, "Judge orders release of woman who served 11 years behind bars in grandson's death," 12 July 2018 Sunlight, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, is tracking the Health and Human Services Department website for unannounced changes. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "The Health 202: 'ACA' removed from swaths of website, watchdog reports," 12 July 2018 Deputies tracked down a red Dodge Magnum station wagon believed to have been stolen from Stockton by a 40-year-old San Francisco man at around 3:27 a.m., Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "K-9 drags car thief out of bush after chase in Arden Arcade, deputies say," 12 July 2018 Police tracked Sandoval down about 140 miles north of San in Killeen on Monday, after nearly a week on the run, according to jail records. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "Grandmother heard boy cry, ‘No, no, stop,’ in the bedroom. Then this man left town, Texas cops say," 11 July 2018 As the family makes its way downstairs to raise Charlie’s spirit, the camera slowly tracks up an art piece that has not yet received much attention. Katherine Fusco, The Atlantic, "Hereditary and the Monstrousness of Creative Moms," 11 July 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

10 Oct 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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lying above or upon

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