Synonyms & Antonyms of trace

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to draw or make apparent the outline of
  • trace your hand onto this piece of paper

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2 to go after or on the track of
  • police traced the burglar back to his apartment, where they discovered a ton of stolen loot

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Phrases Synonymous with trace

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Antonyms for trace



Synonyms & Antonyms of trace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a mark or series of marks left on a surface by something that has passed along it
  • the wolf came and went without leaving a trace on the hard, dry ground

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2 a passage cleared for public vehicular travel
  • an old trace that dates back to the days of the covered wagon

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3 a rough course or way formed by or as if by repeated footsteps
  • stay on the trace, or you'll get lost in these thick woods

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4 a tiny often physical indication of something lost or vanished
  • a ship that appears to have vanished without a trace on the high seas

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6 an almost imperceptible sign of something
  • there didn't seem to be so much as a trace of the truth to anything he said

Synonyms for trace

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7 the mark or impression made by a foot
  • followed the traces of the deer into the deep woods

Synonyms for trace

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Frequently Asked Questions About trace

How is the word trace distinct from other similar nouns?

The words track and vestige are common synonyms of trace. While all three words mean "a perceptible sign made by something that has passed," trace may suggest any line, mark, or discernible effect.

the killer left no traces

When could track be used to replace trace?

The synonyms track and trace are sometimes interchangeable, but track implies a continuous line that can be followed.

the fossilized tracks of dinosaurs

When might vestige be a better fit than trace?

The words vestige and trace can be used in similar contexts, but 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

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Time Traveler for trace

Time Traveler

The first known use of trace was in the 14th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near trace

toy (with)



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Cite this Entry

“Trace.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on trace

Nglish: Translation of trace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trace for Arabic Speakers


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