\ ˈtrak How to pronounce track (audio) \

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 How to pronounce trackless (audio) \ 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

At least one of her records still stands, in an event called the one-hour track run. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "By setting an American age-group track record, one Anchorage runner pays tribute to another," 10 Sep. 2019 The new club will be 1980s Olympics-themed and feature waitresses in track suits. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Track Club opens in old DeSoto building this October with shows from Kaskade, Malaa," 9 Sep. 2019 The director of the National Hurricane Center briefed the president on the storm's likely track again on Sept. 1, shortly after his tweet about the threat to Alabama. oregonlive, "National Weather Service staff told not to contradict Trump," 9 Sep. 2019 The fake worked perfectly, Ridder gained three yards and kept UC on track to score inside Ohio State territory. Fletcher Page,, "What we learned in Cincinnati Bearcats' loss at Ohio State," 8 Sep. 2019 As the boat pulled into the harbor, three generations of the West family — Peter, his son, Chris, and his grandson, Spencer — pointed out splintered wooden walkways and piers that rippled like roller coaster tracks. Jack Healy, New York Times, "They Rode Out Dorian in the Outer Banks. Now Comes the Hard Part.," 8 Sep. 2019 Deputies began following the vehicle but lost track of it because of its speed, according to the sheriff’s office. Anna Claire Vollers |, al, "2 dead following Dollar General burglary, high-speed car chase," 8 Sep. 2019 Guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada was putting together some new tracks and needed a singer. John Adamian,, "Best bets: Our 7 picks for this week’s concerts in Connecticut," 8 Sep. 2019 Cullinane ran distance events for the Concordia track team last spring. Bob Narang,, "College notes: Rolling Meadows grad Asher O’Hara thrilled to play at “The Big House”," 7 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

China also has sought to intimidate protesters by tracking them down and locking them up, human rights advocates say. Los Angeles Times, "Some mainland Chinese support Hong Kong protests. China is punishing them into silence," 8 Sep. 2019 That drove the black unemployment rate down to 5.5% in August — the lowest since the government started tracking it in 1972. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "U.S. saw 130,000 new jobs in August, but blue-collar gains slowed," 6 Sep. 2019 The tech that helps stores track us often comes from card-swipe machines and the merchant banks that process transactions for them. Anchorage Daily News, "The spy in your wallet: Credit cards have a privacy problem," 2 Sep. 2019 Astronomers don't believe the asteroid poses any danger, but NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies is tracking it. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "An asteroid larger than some of the world's tallest buildings will zip by Earth next month," 27 Aug. 2019 Organisers track them down by reviewing interval times to see if a runner’s speed is unrealistically quick or varies suspiciously. The Economist, "Why the Mexico City marathon attracts so many cheats," 22 Aug. 2019 At Amazon, a handheld scanner tells Guendelsberger what to do at every moment and tracks her even into the rest room. Caleb Crain, The New Yorker, "State of the Unions," 19 Aug. 2019 Researchers from the security firm Pen Test Partners published findings this week that an attacker would just need a person's username to track them. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Security News This Week: Facebook's Voice Transcripts Were More Invasive Than Amazon's," 17 Aug. 2019 The identifier acted as a unique serial number that website operators could use to track him. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Kaspersky AV injected unique ID that allowed sites to track users, even in incognito mode," 16 Aug. 2019

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

12 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce track (audio) \

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

Comments on track

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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