Meaning of TRACE in English


trace 1

/trays/ , n. , v. , traced, tracing .


1. a surviving mark, sign, or evidence of the former existence, influence, or action of some agent or event; vestige: traces of an advanced civilization among the ruins.

2. a barely discernible indication or evidence of some quantity, quality, characteristic, expression, etc.: a trace of anger in his tone.

3. an extremely small amount of some chemical component: a trace of copper in its composition.

4. traces , the series of footprints left by an animal.

5. the track left by the passage of a person, animal, or object: the trace of her skates on the ice.

6. Meteorol. precipitation of less than 0.005 in. (0.127 mm).

7. a trail or path, esp. through wild or open territory, made by the passage of people, animals, or vehicles.

8. engram.

9. a tracing, drawing, or sketch of something.

10. a lightly drawn line, as the record drawn by a self-registering instrument.

11. Math.

a. the intersection of two planes, or of a plane and a surface.

b. the sum of the elements along the principal diagonal of a square matrix.

c. the geometric locus of an equation.

12. the visible line or lines produced on the screen of a cathode-ray tube by the deflection of the electron beam.

13. Ling. (in generative grammar) a construct that is phonologically empty but serves to mark the place in the surface structure of a sentence from which a noun phrase has been moved by a transformational operation.

14. Obs. a footprint.


15. to follow the footprints, track, or traces of.

16. to follow, make out, or determine the course or line of, esp. by going backward from the latest evidence, nearest existence, etc.: to trace one's ancestry to the Pilgrims.

17. to follow (footprints, evidence, the history or course of something, etc.).

18. to follow the course, development, or history of: to trace a political movement.

19. to ascertain by investigation; find out; discover: The police were unable to trace his whereabouts.

20. to draw (a line, outline, figure, etc.).

21. to make a plan, diagram, or map of.

22. to copy (a drawing, plan, etc.) by following the lines of the original on a superimposed transparent sheet.

23. to mark or ornament with lines, figures, etc.

24. to make an impression or imprinting of (a design, pattern, etc.).

25. (of a self-registering instrument) to print in a curved, broken, or wavy-lined manner.

26. to put down in writing.


27. to go back in history, ancestry, or origin; date back in time: Her family traces back to Paul Revere.

28. to follow a course, trail, etc.; make one's way.

29. (of a self-registering instrument) to print a record in a curved, broken, or wavy-lined manner.

[ 1250-1300; late ME tracen, ME: to make one's way, proceed tracier tractiare, deriv. of L tractus, ptp. of trahere to draw, drag; (n.) ME: orig., way, course, line of footprints tracier ]

Syn. 1. TRACE, VESTIGE agree in denoting marks or signs of something, usually of the past. TRACE, the broader term, denotes any mark or slight indication of something past or present: a trace of ammonia in water. VESTIGE is more limited and refers to some slight, though actual, remains of something that no longer exists: vestiges of one's former wealth. 2. hint, suggestion, taste, touch. 5. spoor, trail, record. 15. trail.

Ant. 3. abundance, plethora.

trace 2

/trays/ , n.

1. either of the two straps, ropes, or chains by which a carriage, wagon, or the like is drawn by a harnessed horse or other draft animal. See illus. under harness .

2. a piece in a machine, as a bar, transferring the movement of one part to another part, being hinged to each.

3. kick over the traces , to throw off restraint; become independent or defiant: He kicked over the traces and ran off to join the navy.

[ 1300-50; ME trais trait strap for harness, action of drawing tractus a drawing, dragging; see TRACT 1 ]

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .