- a mark or series of marks or other discoverable evidence left by a person, animal, or thing that has passed, as a footprint, wheel rut, wake of a boat, etc.
- a trace or vestige
- a beaten path or trail left by the repeated passage of persons, animals, or vehicles
- [often pl.] a course or line of motion or action; route; path; way: to double back on one's tracks
- the projection of the flight path of an airplane, rocket, etc. on the surface of the earth
- a sequence of ideas, events, etc.; succession
- a path or circuit laid out for running, horse racing, etc.
- any of the courses of study continuing through succeeding grades in an educational structure (tracking), arranged according to various levels of mastery, to which students are assigned on the basis of test performance, abilities, needs, etc.
- a pair of parallel metal rails, with their crossties, etc., on which trains, streetcars, etc. run
- the distance between the centers of the tread of parallel wheels, as of an automobile
- either of the two endless belts with which tanks, some tractors, etc. are equipped for moving over rough ground
- the narrow channel, containing lengthwise copper wires or strips carrying electric current, into which track lights are inserted
- any of various structural channels or grooves, as one that holds a sliding door or window
- the tread of an automobile tire
- athletic sports performed on a track, as running, hurdling, etc.
- track and field sports together
- any of the separate divisions on a phonograph record, compact disc, etc. containing individual selections
- any of the separate, parallel recording surfaces extending along the length of a magnetic tape
- the long continuous spiral groove on a phonograph record in which a stylus moves
- any of the concentric bands on a hard disk or floppy disk, constituting distinct areas for data storage
- Film tracking shot
Origin of trackLate Middle English trak from Middle French trac, a track, tract, trace from uncertain or unknown; perhaps
- to follow the track or footprints of: to track game
- to follow (a path, etc.)
- to trace by means of vestiges, evidence, etc.
- to plot the path of and record data from (an aircraft, spacecraft, missile, etc.) using radar, a telescope, etc.
- to tread or travel
- to leave tracks or footprints on (often with up)
- to leave in the form of tracks: to track dirt over a floor
- to provide with tracks or rails
- Educ. to assign to a track (noun)
- Film to follow (a moving object or person) with a moving camera
- to run in the same (width) track
- to be in alignment, as gears, wheels, or the stylus of a phonograph cartridge with a groove on a record
- to have a (specified) width between the wheels: a narrow-gauge car tracks less than 56 inches
- Film to track a moving object: said of a camera or its operator
dead in one's tracks
keep track of
lose track of
on (or off) the track
the wrong side of the tracks
Origin of trackwith ref. to railroad tracks
- to pursue until caught, as by following tracks
- to investigate fully or search for until found