see also: Trace
  • IPA: /tɹeɪs/, [tʃɹeɪs]


  1. An act of tracing.
    Your cell phone company can put a trace on your line.
  2. An enquiry sent out for a missing article, such as a letter or an express package.
  3. A mark left as a sign of passage of a person or animal.
  4. A residue of some substance or material.
    There are traces of chocolate around your lips.
  5. A very small amount.
    All of our chocolates may contain traces of nuts.
  6. (electronics) A current-carrying conductive pathway on a printed circuit board.
  7. An informal road or prominent path in an arid area.
  8. One of two straps, chains, or ropes of a harness, extending from the collar or breastplate to a whippletree attached to a vehicle or thing to be drawn; a tug.
  9. (engineering) A connecting bar or rod, pivoted at each end to the end of another piece, for transmitting motion, especially from one plane to another; specifically, such a piece in an organ stop action to transmit motion from the trundle to the lever actuating the stop slider.
  10. (fortification) The ground plan of a work or works.
  11. (geometry) The intersection of a plane of projection, or an original plane, with a coordinate plane.
  12. (mathematics) The sum of the diagonal elements of a square matrix.
  13. (grammar) An empty category occupying a position in the syntactic structure from which something has been moved, used to explain constructions such as wh-movement and the passive.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

trace (traces, present participle tracing; past traced, past participle traced)

  1. (transitive) To follow the trail of.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 9”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      I feel thy power […] to trace the ways / Of highest agents.
  2. To follow the history of.
    • You may trace the deluge quite round the globe.
  3. (transitive) To draw or sketch lightly or with care.
    He carefully traced the outlines of the old building before him.
  4. (transitive) To copy onto a sheet of paper superimposed over the original, by drawing over its lines.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To copy; to imitate.
    • That servile path thou nobly dost decline, / Of tracing word, and line by line.
  6. (intransitive, obsolete) To walk; to go; to travel.
    • Not wont on foot with heavy arms to trace.
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To walk over; to pass through; to traverse.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i]:
      We do trace this alley up and down.
  8. (computer, transitive) To follow the execution of the program by making it to stop after every instruction, or by making it print a message after every step.
Related terms Translations
  • Portuguese: rastrear
Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. (colloquial) A short form of the female given name Tracy or Tracey.

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