- The definition of trace is happening in very small amounts.
An example of trace used as an adjective is in the phrase "trace substances," which means substances of which there are tiny amounts.
- Trace is defined as evidence or a visible mark, or a very small amount of something.
- An example of a trace is a footprint at a crime scene.
- An example of a trace is a small smile, a trace of a smile.
- Trace means to follow along a route, to a copy something by following along or to find something or someone.
- An example of to trace is to follow the same route as a prior traveler.
- An example of to trace is to draw over a picture to copy it onto a new piece of paper.
- An example of to trace is to track down a criminal.
- Obsolete a way followed or path taken
- a mark, footprint, etc. left by the passage of a person, animal, or thing
- ☆ a beaten path or trail left by the repeated passage of persons, vehicles, etc.
- any perceptible mark left by a past person, thing, or event; sign; evidence; vestige: the traces of war
- a barely perceptible amount; very small quantity: a trace of anger
- something drawn or traced, as a mark, sketch, etc.
- the traced record of a recording instrument
- the visible line or spot that moves across the face of a cathode-ray tube
- the path followed by this line or spot
- Chem. a very small amount, usually one quantitatively immeasurable
- the intersection of a line or of a projecting plane of the line with the coordinate plane
- the sum of the elements on the main diagonal of a matrix
- Meteorol. precipitation amounting to less than 0.127 mm (0.005 in)
- Psychol. engram
Origin of traceMiddle English ; from Old French ; from tracier ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form tractiare ; from Classical Latin tractus, a drawing along, track ; from past participle of trahere, to draw
transitive verbtraced, tracing
- Now Rare to move along, follow, or traverse (a path, route, etc.)
- to follow the trail or footprints of; track
- to follow the development, process, or history of, esp. by proceeding from the latest to the earliest evidence, etc.
- to determine (a source, date, etc.) by this procedure
- to discover or ascertain by investigating traces or vestiges of (something prehistoric, etc.)
- to draw, sketch, outline, etc.
- to ornament with tracery: used chiefly in the past participle
- to copy (a drawing, etc.) by following its lines on a superimposed transparent sheet
- to form (letters, etc.) carefully or laboriously
- to make or copy with a tracer
- to record by means of a curved, broken, or wavy line, as in a seismograph
Origin of traceME tracen < OFr tracier: see tracethe
- to follow a path, route, development, etc.; make one's way
- to go back or date back (to something past)
- either of two straps, chains, etc. connecting a draft animal's harness to the vehicle drawn
- a rod, pivoted at each end, that transmits motion from one moving part of a machine to another
Origin of traceMiddle English traice ; from Old French traiz, plural of trait: see trait
kick over the traces
- a. A visible mark, such as a footprint, made or left by the passage of a person, animal, or thing.b. Evidence or an indication of the former presence or existence of something; a vestige: left without a trace of having been there.
- a. An extremely small amount or barely perceivable indication: spoke with a trace of sarcasm.b. A constituent, such as a chemical compound or element, present in quantities less than a standard limit.
- A path or trail that has been beaten out by the passage of animals or people.
- An act of researching or ascertaining the origin or location of something: put a trace on the phone call; asked for a trace on a lost package.
- A line drawn by a recording instrument, such as a cardiograph.
- Mathematics a. The point at which a line, or the curve in which a surface, intersects a coordinate plane.b. The sum of the elements of the principal diagonal of a matrix.
- An engram.
verbtraced traced, trac·ing, trac·es
- a. To go along or follow (a path, for example): We traced the trail up the mountain.b. To follow the course or trail of: trace a wounded deer.
- a. To ascertain the successive stages in the development or progress of: tracing the life cycle of an insect; trace the history of a family.b. To discover or determine by searching or researching evidence: trace the cause of a disease.c. To locate or ascertain the origin of: traced the money to a foreign bank account.
- a. To draw (a line or figure); sketch; delineate.b. To form (letters) with special concentration or care.
- a. To copy by following lines seen through a sheet of transparent paper.b. To follow closely (a prescribed pattern): The skater traced a figure eight.
- a. To imprint (a design) by pressure with an instrument on a superimposed pattern.b. To make a design or series of markings on (a surface) by such pressure on a pattern.
- To record (a variable), as on a graph.
- To make one's way along a trail or course: We traced along the ridge.
- To have origins; be traceable: linguistic features that trace to West Africa.
Origin of traceMiddle English, track, from Old French, from tracier, to trace, from Vulgar Latin *tractiāre, from Latin tractus, a dragging, course, from past participle of trahere, to draw.
- One of two side straps or chains connecting a harnessed draft animal to a vehicle or whiffletree.
- A bar or rod, hinged at either end to another part, that transfers movement from one part of a machine to another.
Origin of traceMiddle English trais, from Old French, pl. of trait, a hauling, harness strap, from Latin tractus, a hauling, from past participle of trahere, to haul.
- An act of tracing.
- Your cell phone company can put a trace on your line.
- A mark left as a sign of passage of a person or animal.
- A very small amount.
- All of our chocolates may contain traces of nuts.
- (electronics) An electric current-carrying conductive pathway on a printed circuit board.
- An informal road or prominent path in an arid area.
- 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.
- (fortification) The ground plan of a work or works.
- The intersection of a plane of projection, or an original plane, with a coordinate plane.
- (mathematics) The sum of the diagonal elements of a square matrix.
From Middle English trace, traas, from Old French trace (“an outline, track, trace"), from the verb (see below).
(third-person singular simple present traces, present participle tracing, simple past and past participle traced)
From Middle English tracen, from Old French tracer, trasser (“to delineate, score, trace", also, "to follow, pursue"), probably a conflation of Medieval Latin *tractiÄre (“to delineate, score, trace"), from Latin trahere (“to draw"); and Old French traquer (“to chase, hunt, pursue"), from Old French trac (“a track, trace"), from Middle Dutch treck, treke (“a drawing, draft, delineation, feature, expedition"). More at track.