tract
Pronunciation Noun

tract (plural tracts)

  1. An area or expanse.
    an unexplored tract of sea
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 1”, 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 ↗:
      the deep tract of hell
    • 1705 (revised 1718), Joseph Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy
      a very high mountain joined to the mainland by a narrow tract of earth
  2. A series of connected body organs, as in the digestive tract.
  3. A small booklet such as a pamphlet, often for promotional or informational uses.
  4. A brief treatise or discourse on a subject.
    • 1731, Jonathan Swift, The Presbyterians Plea of Merit
      The church clergy at that writ the best collection of tracts against popery that ever appeared.
  5. A commentator's view or perspective on a subject.
  6. Continued or protracted duration, length, extent
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 5”, 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 ↗:
      improved by tract of time
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. XIV, Henry of Essex
      Nay, in another case of litigation, the unjust Standard bearer, for his own profit, asserting that the cause belonged not to St. Edmund’s Court, but to his in Lailand Hundred, involved us in travellings and innumerable expenses, vexing the servants of St. Edmund for a long tract of time […]
  7. Part of the proper of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations, used instead of the alleluia during Lenten or pre-Lenten seasons, in a Requiem Mass, and on a few other penitential occasions.
  8. (obsolete) Continuity or extension of anything.
    the tract of speech
  9. (obsolete) Traits; features; lineaments.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Of Simulation and Dissimulation
      The discovery of a man's self by the tracts of his countenance is a great weakness.
  10. (obsolete) The footprint of a wild animal.
  11. (obsolete) Track; trace.
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica
      Efface all tract of its traduction.
    • c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens
      But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on, / Leaving no tract behind.
  12. (obsolete) Treatment; exposition.
    • 1613, William Shakespeare, Henry VIII (play), Act I, Scene I
      The tract of every thing Would, by a good discourser, lose some life Which action's self was tongue to.
Synonyms
  • (series of connected body organs) system
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

tract (tracts, present participle tracting; past and past participle tracted)

  1. (obsolete) To pursue, follow; to track.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.i:
      Where may that treachour then (said he) be found, / Or by what meanes may I his footing tract?
  2. (obsolete) To draw out; to protract.



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