[track] n [ME trak, fr. MF trac, perh. of Gmc origin; akin to MD tracken, trecken to pull, haul--more at trek] (15c) 1 a: detectable evidence (as the wake of a ship, a line of footprints, or a wheel rut) that something has passed b: a path made by repeated footfalls: trail c: a course laid out esp. for racing d: the parallel rails of a railroad e (1): one of a series of parallel or concentric paths along which material (as music or information) is recorded (as on a phonograph record or magnetic tape) (2): a group of grooves on a phonograph record containing recorded sound (3): material recorded esp. on a track f: a usu. metal way (as a groove) serving as a guide (as for a movable lighting fixture)
2: a footprint whether recent or fossil "the huge ~ of a dinosaur" 3 a: the course along which something moves b: a way of life, conduct, or action c: one of several curricula of study to which students are assigned according to their needs or levels of ability d: the projection on the earth's surface of the path along which something (as a missile or an airplane) has flown
4. a: a sequence of events: a train of ideas: succession b: an awareness of a fact, progression, or condition "keep ~ of the costs" "lose ~ of the time"
5. a: the width of a wheeled vehicle from wheel to wheel and usu. from the outside of the rims b: the tread of an automobile tire c: either of two endless metal belts on which a tracklaying vehicle travels
6: track-and-field sports; esp: those performed on a running track syn see trace -- track.less adj -- in one's tracks : where one stands or is at the moment: on the spot "was stopped in his tracks"
track vt (1565) 1 a: to follow the tracks or traces of: trail b: to search for by following evidence until found "~ down the source"
2. a: to follow by vestiges: trace b: to observe or plot the moving path of (as a spacecraft or missile) instrumentally
3: to travel over: traverse "~ a desert"
4. a: to make tracks upon b: to carry (as mud) on the feet and deposit
5: to keep track of (as a trend): follow ~ vi 1: travel "comet ~s eastward"
2. a of a phonograph needle: to follow the groove undulations of a recording b of a pair of wheels (1): to maintain a constant distance apart on the straightaway (2): to fit a track or rails c of a rear wheel of a vehicle: to follow accurately the corresponding fore wheel on a straightaway
3: to leave tracks (as on a floor) -- track.er n