track

If you document your study time and record all your exam scores, then you track your progress in school. In this case the verb track shows that you're following the path of something. The noun track can refer to a path of a more literal kind.

The noun track can describe a variety of paths, such as the rails that trains chug along, a course that racehorses run, or the big oval course in an ice rink. If you're competing in a five-lap race and you have the fastest speed after the first four laps, you're on track to win the race. In this case the term "on track" is describing a figurative path, one that indicates you're in a good position to achieve what you want.

Primary Meanings of track

1.
nv
a line or route along which something travels or moves
travel across or pass over
2.
n
a distinct selection of music from a recording or a compact disc
3.
n
the act of participating in an athletic competition involving running on a track
4.
vn
go after with the intent to catch
evidence pointing to a possible solution
Full Definitions of track
1

n a line or route along which something travels or moves

“the track of an animal”
Synonyms:
course, path
Types:
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
collision course
a course of a moving object that will lead to a collision if it continues unchanged
inside track
the inner side of a curved racecourse
round
the course along which communications spread
steps
the course along which a person has walked or is walking in
belt, swath
a path or strip (as cut by one course of mowing)
trail
a track or mark left by something that has passed
slot
the trail of an animal (especially a deer)
spoor
the trail left by a person or an animal; what the hunter follows in pursuing game
Type of:
line
a spatial location defined by a real or imaginary unidimensional extent

n any road or path affording passage especially a rough one

Synonyms:
cart track, cartroad
Examples:
Chisholm Trail
a former cattle trail from San Antonio in Texas to Abilene in Kansas; not used after the 1880s
Iditarod Trail
a trail that extends 1,100 miles from Anchorage over the Alaska Range to Nome
Santa Fe Trail
a trail that extends from Missouri to New Mexico; an important route for settlers moving west in the 19th century
Types:
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
portage
overland track between navigable waterways
trail
a path or track roughly blazed through wild or hilly country
cattle trail
a trail over which cattle were driven to market
deer trail
a trail worn by the passage of deer
horse-trail
a trail for horses
Indian trail
a trail through the wilderness worn by Amerindians
mountain trail
a trail through mountainous country
ski run, ski trail
trail or slope prepared for skiing
Type of:
road, route
an open way (generally public) for travel or transportation

n a course over which races are run

Synonyms:
racecourse, racetrack, raceway
Examples:
Belmont Park
a racetrack for thoroughbred racing in Elmont on Long Island; site of the Belmont Stakes
Churchill Downs
a racetrack for thoroughbred racing in Louisville; site of the Kentucky Derby
Pimlico
a racetrack for thoroughbred racing; site of the Preakness
Types:
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
cinder track
a racetrack paved with fine cinders
dirt track
a racetrack that is not paved
circuit, racing circuit
a racetrack for automobile races
speedway
a racetrack for racing automobiles or motorcycles
velodrome
a banked oval track for bicycle or motorcycle racing
Type of:
course
facility consisting of a circumscribed area of land or water laid out for a sport

n a pair of parallel rails providing a runway for wheels

Types:
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
railroad, railroad track, railway
a line of track providing a runway for wheels
streetcar track, tramline, tramway
the track on which trams or streetcars run
broad gauge
a railroad track (or its width) broader than the standard 56.5 inches
gantlet
the convergence of two parallel railroad tracks in a narrow place; the inner rails cross and run parallel and then diverge so a train remains on its own tracks at all times
narrow gauge
a railroad track (or its width) narrower than the standard 56.5 inches
railroad siding, sidetrack, siding, turnout
a short stretch of railroad track used to store rolling stock or enable trains on the same line to pass
standard gauge
railroad track having the standard width of 56.5 inches
switch
railroad track having two movable rails and necessary connections; used to turn a train from one track to another or to store rolling stock
Type of:
artefact, artifact
a man-made object taken as a whole

n a bar or pair of parallel bars of rolled steel making the railway along which railroad cars or other vehicles can roll

Synonyms:
rail, rails, runway
Types:
third rail
a rail through which electric current is supplied to an electric locomotive
Type of:
bar
a rigid piece of metal or wood; usually used as a fastening or obstruction or weapon

n an endless metal belt on which tracked vehicles move over the ground

Synonyms:
caterpillar track, caterpillar tread
Types:
half track
a track that goes around only rear wheels
Type of:
belt
endless loop of flexible material between two rotating shafts or pulleys

n (computer science) one of the circular magnetic paths on a magnetic disk that serve as a guide for writing and reading data

Synonyms:
data track
Type of:
itinerary, path, route
an established line of travel or access

n a groove on a phonograph recording

Type of:
channel, groove
a long narrow furrow cut either by a natural process (such as erosion) or by a tool (as e.g. a groove in a phonograph record)

v travel across or pass over

Synonyms:
cover, cross, cut across, cut through, get across, get over, pass over, traverse
Types:
show 10 types...
hide 10 types...
tramp
cross on foot
stride
cover or traverse by taking long steps
walk
traverse or cover by walking
crisscross
cross in a pattern, often random
ford
cross a river where it's shallow
bridge
cross over on a bridge
jaywalk
cross the road at a red light
drive, take
proceed along in a vehicle
course
move swiftly through or over
hop
traverse as if by a short airplane trip
Type of:
go across, go through, pass
go across or through

v carry on the feet and deposit

track mud into the house”
Type of:
bring in, introduce
bring in a new person or object into a familiar environment

v make tracks upon

Type of:
create, make
make or cause to be or to become
2

n a distinct selection of music from a recording or a compact disc

“the title track of the album”
Synonyms:
cut
Type of:
excerpt, excerption, extract, selection
a passage selected from a larger work
3

n the act of participating in an athletic competition involving running on a track

Synonyms:
running
Type of:
track and field
participating in athletic sports performed on a running track or on the field associated with it
4

v go after with the intent to catch

Synonyms:
chase, chase after, dog, give chase, go after, tag, tail, trail
Types:
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
tree
chase an animal up a tree
quest
search the trail of (game)
hound, hunt, trace
pursue or chase relentlessly
run down
pursue until captured
ferret
hound or harry relentlessly
Type of:
follow, pursue
follow in or as if in pursuit

v observe or plot the moving path of something

track a missile”
Type of:
observe
watch attentively

n evidence pointing to a possible solution

Synonyms:
lead, trail
Type of:
evidence, grounds
your basis for belief or disbelief; knowledge on which to base belief

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.