A trail is an unpaved path, like the narrow trail you follow through the woods on your hike. A trail can also be a series of clues that are left behind, also forming a kind of path.

You can walk along a trail, and you can also follow a trail: "My little brother left a trail of cracker crumbs behind him, so I found him right away." When you trail, you move slowly behind something or someone, or you drag something on the ground: "She sadly trails her deflated balloon behind her." You also might trail someone you're chasing: "My dog likes to trail squirrels around the yard."

Definitions of trail

n a path or track roughly blazed through wild or hilly country

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
Chisholm Trail
a former cattle trail from San Antonio in Texas to Abilene in Kansas; not used after the 1880s
show 7 types...
hide 7 types...
cattle trail
a trail over which cattle were driven to market
deer trail
a trail worn by the passage of deer
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
a ski run densely packed with snow
Type of:
cart track, cartroad, track
any road or path affording passage especially a rough one

n a track or mark left by something that has passed

“there as a trail of blood”
“a tear left its trail on her cheek”
the trail of an animal (especially a deer)
the trail left by a person or an animal; what the hunter follows in pursuing game
Type of:
course, path, track
a line or route along which something travels or moves

n evidence pointing to a possible solution

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

v lag or linger behind

drag, drop back, drop behind, get behind, hang back
Type of:
dawdle, fall back, fall behind, lag
hang (back) or fall (behind) in movement, progress, development, etc.

v move, proceed, or walk draggingly or slowly

“John trailed behind his class mates”
“The Mercedes trailed behind the horse cart”
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

v go after with the intent to catch

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

v hang down so as to drag along the ground

“The bride's veiled trailed along the ground”
drag loosely along a surface; allow to sweep the ground

v drag loosely along a surface; allow to sweep the ground

“The toddler was trailing his pants”
Type of:
pull, as against a resistance

Sign up, it's free!

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