Synonyms of trail

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a rough course or way formed by or as if by repeated footsteps
  • took a trail through the woods to get to the main road

Synonyms for trail

Words Related to trail

2 a mark or series of marks left on a surface by something that has passed along it
  • the slugs left a slimy trail on the sidewalk

Synonyms for trail

Words Related to trail



Synonyms & Antonyms of trail (Entry 2 of 2)

to go after or on the track of
  • we trailed our friend into the woods, inadvertently spoiling his plans for a solitary hike

Synonyms for trail

Words Related to trail

Phrases Synonymous with trail

Near Antonyms for trail

Antonyms for trail

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About trail

How is the word trail distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of trail are chase, follow, and pursue. While all these words mean "to go after or on the track of something or someone," trail may stress a following of tracks or traces rather than a visible object.

trail deer

trailed a suspect across the country

When would chase be a good substitute for trail?

While in some cases nearly identical to trail, chase implies going swiftly after and trying to overtake something fleeing or running.

a dog chasing a cat

When is it sensible to use follow instead of trail?

The meanings of follow and trail largely overlap; however, follow puts less emphasis upon speed or intent to overtake.

friends followed me home in their car

Where would pursue be a reasonable alternative to trail?

The words pursue and trail can be used in similar contexts, but pursue suggests a continuing effort to overtake, reach, or attain.

pursued the criminal through narrow streets

Learn More About trail

Time Traveler for trail

Time Traveler

The first known use of trail was in the 13th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near trail




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Cite this Entry

“Trail.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on trail

Nglish: Translation of trail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trail for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about trail


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