trace

A trace of something is just a hint or suggestion of it, a very small amount left behind — like the sad cookie crumbs at the bottom of an empty cookie jar.

There are more meanings we can trace to this word trace. As a verb, trace means to follow the course or trail of something, sometimes even chasing or hunting it. It also means to draw or sketch over a picture on translucent "tracing paper." So you could say that Sherlock Holmes traced criminals throughout London, following even the smallest traces of evidence and tracing copies of the villain's notes for his files.

Primary Meanings of trace

1.
nv
an indication that something has been present
follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something
2.
nv
a visible mark (as a footprint) left by the passage of person or animal or vehicle
make one's course or travel along a path; travel or pass over, around, or along
3.
nv
a drawing created by superimposing a semitransparent sheet of paper on the original image and copying on it the lines of the original image
make a mark or lines on a surface
4.
n
either of two lines that connect a horse's harness to a wagon or other vehicle or to a whiffletree
Full Definitions of trace
1

n an indication that something has been present

“there wasn't a trace of evidence for the claim”
Synonyms:
shadow, tincture, vestige
Types:
footprint
a trace suggesting that something was once present or felt or otherwise important
Type of:
indicant, indication
something that serves to indicate or suggest

n a just detectable amount

“he speaks French with a trace of an accent”
Synonyms:
hint, suggestion
Types:
spark
a small but noticeable trace of some quality that might become stronger
Type of:
small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude

n a suggestion of some quality

Synonyms:
ghost, touch
Type of:
proffer, proposition, suggestion
a proposal offered for acceptance or rejection

v follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something

trace the student's progress”
Synonyms:
follow
follow, keep abreast, keep up
keep informed
follow, keep an eye on, observe, watch, watch over
follow with the eyes or the mind
Type of:
analyse, analyze, canvas, canvass, examine, study
consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning

v discover traces of

“She traced the circumstances of her birth”
Type of:
detect, discover, find, notice, observe
discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of

v read with difficulty

“The archeologist traced the hieroglyphs”
Synonyms:
decipher
Type of:
read
interpret something that is written or printed
2

n a visible mark (as a footprint) left by the passage of person or animal or vehicle

Type of:
mark, print
a visible indication made on a surface

v make one's course or travel along a path; travel or pass over, around, or along

“The children traced along the edge of the dark forest”
“The women traced the pasture”
Type of:
continue, go forward, proceed
move ahead; travel onward in time or space

v go back over again

trace your path”
Synonyms:
retrace
Type of:
return
go or come back to place, condition, or activity where one has been before

v pursue or chase relentlessly

“The hunters traced the deer into the woods”
Synonyms:
hound, hunt
Types:
ferret
hound or harry relentlessly
Type of:
chase, chase after, dog, give chase, go after, tag, tail, track, trail
go after with the intent to catch
3

n a drawing created by superimposing a semitransparent sheet of paper on the original image and copying on it the lines of the original image

Synonyms:
tracing
Type of:
drawing
a representation of forms or objects on a surface by means of lines

v make a mark or lines on a surface

trace the outline of a figure in the sand”
Synonyms:
delineate, describe, draw, line
draw
engage in drawing
draw
represent by making a drawing of, as with a pencil, chalk, etc. on a surface
Types:
show 17 types...
hide 17 types...
construct
draw with suitable instruments and under specified conditions
inscribe
draw within a figure so as to touch in as many places as possible
circumscribe
draw a line around
circumscribe
to draw a geometric figure around another figure so that the two are in contact but do not intersect
write
mark or trace on a surface
dot
make a dot or dots
stenograph
write in shorthand
calligraph
write beautifully and ornamentally
cross
trace a line through or across
superscribe
write on the outside or upper part of
superscribe
write on the top or outside
capitalise, capitalize
write in capital letters
letter
mark letters on or mark with letters
print
write as if with print; not cursive
scrawl, scribble
write carelessly
copy
copy down as is
impress, print
reproduce by printing
Type of:
mark
make or leave a mark on

v copy by following the lines of the original drawing on a transparent sheet placed upon it; make a tracing of

trace a design”
trace a pattern”
Type of:
copy, re-create
make a replica of
4

n either of two lines that connect a horse's harness to a wagon or other vehicle or to a whiffletree

Type of:
line
something (as a cord or rope) that is long and thin and flexible

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