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)

Examples of tract in a Sentence

Noun (1) a vast and fertile tract of farmland the town had planned on turning that tract of meadow into a park had a number of small tracts for sale, but we couldn't afford to buy land and then build a house
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Times journalists worked with the Los Angeles County Internal Services Department to access both the decennial Census and the American Community Survey for the most detailed data possible on Census tract level for Los Angeles. Sandhya Kambhampati, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2024 The four nearest census tracts to the underpass are home to more than 15,000 people, according to 2022 census estimates. Megan Ulu-Lani Boyanton, The Denver Post, 16 May 2024 Bordering the Alps in the north, south and west, the region was, and remains, home to some of the peninsula’s richest and most versatile farmland, as well as immense tracts of alpine pastures, allowing for a seemingly endless supply of ingredients. Dawn Davis Sharon Radisch Soneela Nankani Emma Kehlbeck Joel Thibodeau, New York Times, 13 May 2024 Neurons tend to group together to form neural tracts, which would be like the streets and highways in the city analogy. Jennifer Robinson, Discover Magazine, 10 May 2024 Some included in the outbreak had no symptoms at all, but others experienced upper respiratory tract infections leading to hospitalizations, 40% of which were fatal. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 9 May 2024 Those include people who are born with an anomaly in their urinary tract, had prior surgery in the urinary tract, are pregnant, or don’t empty appropriately for another reason. Claire Bugos, Verywell Health, 8 May 2024 The name is a nod to the 86-acre (34-hectare) tract’s history as a once-thriving Black community demolished for the Rays’ current domed Tropicana Field and earlier for an interstate highway spur. Curt Anderson, Fortune, 8 May 2024 And—this is key—pair them with food: Syncing up with your mealtime will protect your stomach and reduce your risk of ulcers, which are open sores in your GI tract that can cause burning stomach pain. Julia Ries, SELF, 7 May 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tract.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 24 May. 2024.

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 see also digestive tract, 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 also corticospinal tract, olfactory tract, optic tract, spinothalamic tract

More from Merriam-Webster on tract

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