/ træk; NAmE / noun , verb
[ C ] a rough path or road, usually one that has not been built but that has been made by people walking there :
a muddy track through the forest
—see also cart track
MARKS ON GROUND
[ C , usually pl. ] marks left by a person, an animal or a moving vehicle :
We followed the bear's tracks in the snow.
[ C , U ] rails that a train moves along :
railway / railroad tracks
India has thousands of miles of track.
[ C ] ( NAmE ) a track with a number at a train station that a train arrives at or leaves from :
The train for Chicago is on track 9.
➡ note at platform
[ C ] a piece of ground with a special surface for people, cars, etc. to have races on :
a running track
a Formula One Grand Prix track (= for motor racing)
—see also dirt track (2), track and field
DIRECTION / COURSE
[ C ] the path or direction that sb/sth is moving in :
Police are on the track of (= searching for) the thieves.
She is on the fast track to promotion (= will get it quickly) .
—see also one-track mind
ON TAPE / CD
[ C ] a piece of music or song on a record, tape or CD :
a track from their latest album
[ C ] part of a tape or computer disk that music or information can be recorded on :
a sixteen track recording studio
She sang on the backing track.
—see also soundtrack
[ C ] a pole or rail that a curtain moves along
ON LARGE VEHICLE
[ C ] a continuous belt of metal plates around the wheels of a large vehicle such as a bulldozer that allows it to move over the ground
- back on track
- be on track
- keep / lose track of sb/sth
- make tracks
- on the right / wrong track
- stop / halt sb in their tracks | stop / halt / freeze in your tracks
—more at beat verb , cover verb , hot adjective , wrong adjective
to find sb/sth by following the marks, signs, information, etc., that they have left behind them :
[ vn ]
hunters tracking and shooting bears
[also v ]
to follow the movements of sb/sth, especially by using special electronic equipment :
[ vn ]
We continued tracking the plane on our radar.
[also v wh- ]
to follow the progress or development of sb/sth :
[ vn ]
The research project involves tracking the careers of 400 graduates.
[also v wh- ]
—see also fast-track
[ v + adv. / prep. ] to move in relation to the thing that is being filmed :
The camera eventually tracked away.
[ vn ] ( NAmE ) = stream (4)
[ vn ] ( especially NAmE ) to leave dirty marks behind you as you walk :
Don't track mud on my clean floor.
- track sb/sth down
late 15th cent. (in the sense trail, marks left behind ): the noun from Old French trac , perhaps from Low German or Dutch trek draught, drawing; the verb (current senses dating from the mid 16th cent.) from French traquer or directly from the noun.