tract

1 of 3

noun (1)

1
a
: a system of body parts or organs that act together to perform some function
the digestive tract
b
: a bundle of nerve fibers having a common origin, termination, and function
2
: an area either large or small: such as
a
: an indefinite stretch of land
b
: a defined area of land
3
: extent or lapse of time

tract

2 of 3

noun (2)

: a pamphlet or leaflet of political or religious propaganda
also : a piece of writing that is suggestive of such a tract

tract

3 of 3

noun (3)

often capitalized
: verses of Scripture (as from the Psalms) used between the gradual and the Gospel at some masses (as during penitential seasons)

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English tracte, from Latin tractus action of drawing, extension, from trahere to pull, draw

Noun (2)

Middle English, treatise, from Medieval Latin tractus, perhaps alteration of Latin tractatus tractate

Noun (3)

Middle English tracte, from Medieval Latin tractus, from Latin, action of drawing, extension; perhaps from its being sung without a break by one voice

First Known Use

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun (2)

1760, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tract was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near tract

Cite this Entry

“Tract.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tract. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

tract

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: an indefinite stretch of land
a large tract of forest
b
: a defined area of land
a garden tract
2
: a system of body parts or organs that act together to perform some function
the digestive tract

tract

2 of 2 noun
: a pamphlet of political or religious ideas and beliefs

Medical Definition

tract

noun
1
: a system of body parts or organs that act together to perform some function
the digestive tract
see gastrointestinal tract, lower respiratory tract, upper respiratory tract
2
: a bundle of nerve fibers having a common origin, termination, and function and especially one within the spinal cord or brain

called also fiber tract

see corticospinal tract, olfactory tract, optic tract, spinothalamic tract compare fasciculus sense b

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