\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

The Divorce Party, a rom-com starring 30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden about a millennial who plans a wedding-caliber bash to get his life back on track after being dumped by his wife, is set for release early next year. Leah Bourne, Glamour, "For Some Women, Finalizing Their Divorce Means Throwing an Actual Party," 28 Nov. 2018 This probably involves an even larger fuel tank, and perhaps improvements to the inertial navigation system to keep the missile on track. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "America's Next Cruise Missile Will Strike From 1,000 Miles Away," 12 Sep. 2018 That seemed to give Seattle residents plenty of times to lose track of a few pieces of paper. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Seattle’s radical plan to fight big money in politics," 5 Nov. 2018 Yes, women are on track to send more members of Congress to Washington than ever before. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "These 10 Moms Running for Office Need You to Vote on November 6," 30 Oct. 2018 Thanksgiving is just one meal out of so many healthy-eating opportunities—so take the day to relax and unwind, but then get right back on track. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Holidays Are Coming—Here's How To Get Back On Track After a Big Meal," 19 Oct. 2018 However, at the same 2015 summit, mayors from 96 cities around the world signed a separate agreement through a coalition known as C40 Cities to limit warming to 1.5 degrees—and many are on track to achieve those goals. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Cities have 15 months to reverse climate change, says new report," 8 Oct. 2018 Take your time and enjoy miles of rolling single tracks and stunning vistas. Discover Magazine, "7 Family Friendly Bucket List Adventures in Beaver Creek," 17 Aug. 2018 The new estimates will help the science team ensure the mission is still on track to succeed at its primary job: measuring the mass of 50 planets that are smaller than Neptune. Meghan Bartels,, "New NASA Planet Hunter May Find 10,000 Alien Worlds in Just Two Years," 8 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Everyone who tracks overhead calculates it a little differently. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "One of the most frequently used criteria for judging a charity is also one of the worst," 27 Nov. 2018 Greenfly, the online name of a blogger who tracks open source information on the Egyptian military, said that at the very least, the cooperation shows local residents expect the army to win eventually. Brian Rohan, Fox News, "Egypt arming Sinai tribesmen in fight against Islamic State," 27 Sep. 2018 From her son, Jackson, 7, who tracks down missing flip-flops. Peg Rosen, Good Housekeeping, "Blindness Can't Stop Me from Living the Life I Want to Live," 14 Sep. 2018 At your next visit, update your numbers to track your progress. Aviva Patz And Karyn Repinski, Woman's Day, "10 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure," 20 Aug. 2018 This time, Tiff plays a woman who, upon getting out of jail, tracks down the online catfisher of her responsible and high-powered sister to exact revenge. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "The Biggest Movies of Fall 2018," 25 July 2018 Barrett Smith talks about the current system that local officers use to track a driver's speed. Scott Berson, sacbee, "Lawmaker caught driving 97 mph told deputy he had ‘immunity.’ Was he right?," 13 July 2018 What happens next is already a matter of debate among those who obsessively track financial regulation. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: CFPB further under fire with Kavanaugh pick for Supreme Court," 11 July 2018 But Jim Russell, a geographer who has tracked young people moving to Rust Belt cities, is less convinced that current population dynamics will change the political calculus. Christa Case Bryant, The Christian Science Monitor, "How young liberals' moves to Red America may temper political divides," 6 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

5 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on track

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with track

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for track

Spanish Central: Translation of track

Nglish: Translation of track for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of track for Arabic Speakers

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