What does trace mean?

Definitions for trace

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word trace.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. trace, hint, suggestionnoun

    a just detectable amount

    "he speaks French with a trace of an accent"

  2. trace, vestige, tincture, shadownoun

    an indication that something has been present

    "there wasn't a trace of evidence for the claim"; "a tincture of condescension"

  3. touch, trace, ghostnoun

    a suggestion of some quality

    "there was a touch of sarcasm in his tone"; "he detected a ghost of a smile on her face"

  4. tracing, tracenoun

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

  5. tracenoun

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

  6. traceverb

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

  7. trace, followverb

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

    "We must follow closely the economic development is Cuba" ; "trace the student's progress"

  8. trace, draw, line, describe, delineateverb

    make a mark or lines on a surface

    "draw a line"; "trace the outline of a figure in the sand"

  9. trace, retraceverb

    to go back over again

    "we retraced the route we took last summer"; "trace your path"

  10. hound, hunt, traceverb

    pursue or chase relentlessly

    "The hunters traced the deer into the woods"; "the detectives hounded the suspect until they found him"

  11. traceverb

    discover traces of

    "She traced the circumstances of her birth"

  12. traceverb

    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"

  13. traceverb

    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"

  14. decipher, traceverb

    read with difficulty

    "Can you decipher this letter?"; "The archeologist traced the hieroglyphs"


  1. tracenoun

    An act of tracing.

    Your cell phone company can put a trace on your line.

  2. tracenoun

    A mark left as a sign of passage of a person or animal.

  3. tracenoun

    A very small amount.

  4. tracenoun

    An electric current-carrying conductive pathway on a printed circuit board.

  5. tracenoun

    An informal road or prominent path in an arid area.

  6. tracenoun

    The sum of the diagonal elements of a square matrix.

  7. traceverb

    To follow the trail of.

  8. traceverb

    To follow the history of.

  9. traceverb

    To draw or sketch.

  10. traceverb

    To copy onto a sheet of transparent paper.

  11. traceverb

    To walk; to go; to travel.

    Not wont on foot with heavy arms to trace. uE000106720uE001 Spenser.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tracenoun

    Etymology: trace, Fr. traccia, Italian.

    These as a line their long dimension drew,
    Streaking the ground with sinuous trace. John Milton.

    The people of these countries are reported to have lived like the beasts among them, without any traces of orders, laws, or religion. William Temple.

    There are not the least traces of it to be met, the greatest part of the ornaments being taken from Trajan’s arch, and set up to the conqueror. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    The shady empire shall retain no trace
    Of war, or blood, but in the Sylvan chace. Alexander Pope.

    Her waggon spokes made of long spinner’s legs;
    The cover, of the wings of grashoppers;
    The traces, of the smallest spider’s web. William Shakespeare.

    The labour’d ox
    In his loose traces from the furrow came. John Milton.

    While lab’ring oxen, spent with toil and heat,
    In their loose traces from the field retreat. Alexander Pope.

    Twelve young mules,
    New to the plough, unpractis’d in the trace. Alexander Pope, Odys.

  2. To Traceverb

    Etymology: tracer, Fr. tracciare, Italian.

    I feel thy power to trace the ways
    Of highest agents. John Milton.

    You may trace the deluge quite round the globe in profane history; and every one of these people have a tale to tell concerning the restauration. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.

    They do but trace over the paths beaten by the ancients, or comment, critick, or flourish upon them. William Temple.

    To this haste of the mind a not due tracing of the arguments to their true foundation is owing. John Locke.

    That servile path thou nobly dost decline,
    Of tracing word by word, and line by line. John Denham.

    He allows the soul power to trace images on the brain, and perceive them. John Locke.

    His pen can trace out a true quotation. Jonathan Swift.

    Men as they trace,
    Both feet and face one way are wont to lead. Fa. Qu.

    We do trace this alley up and down. William Shakespeare.


  1. TRACE

    Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE, or Explorer 73, SMEX-4) was a NASA heliophysics and solar observatory designed to investigate the connections between fine-scale magnetic fields and the associated plasma structures on the Sun by providing high resolution images and observation of the solar photosphere, the transition region, and the solar corona. A main focus of the TRACE instrument is the fine structure of coronal loops low in the solar atmosphere. TRACE is the third spacecraft in the Small Explorer program, launched on 2 April 1998, and obtained its last science image on 21 June 2010, at 23:56 UTC.


  1. trace

    Trace refers to several different concepts depending on the context: 1) In mathematics, particularly linear algebra and matrix theory, the trace of a square matrix is the sum of the elements on the main diagonal (from top left to bottom right) of the matrix. 2) In chemistry, trace refers to an extremely small amount of an element or compound present in a sample. 3) In computing, a trace can refer to a record of the sequence of instructions executed in a computer program, used for debugging and optimization purposes. 4) In geology, a trace fossil is the preserved evidence of the activity or behavior of an organism, such as footprints or burrows. 5) In physics, trace can denote the contraction of a tensor in the theory of relativity. 6) In forensics, trace evidence refers to small, often microscopic material found at a crime scene or on a person or object associated with a crime. 7) In general usage, a trace can mean a small amount, a mark, sign or evidence left behind that something has been present, or to track or follow a course or path.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tracenoun

    one of two straps, chains, or ropes of a harness, extending from the collar or breastplate to a whiffletree attached to a vehicle or thing to be drawn; a tug

  2. Traceverb

    a mark left by anything passing; a track; a path; a course; a footprint; a vestige; as, the trace of a carriage or sled; the trace of a deer; a sinuous trace

  3. Traceverb

    a very small quantity of an element or compound in a given substance, especially when so small that the amount is not quantitatively determined in an analysis; -- hence, in stating an analysis, often contracted to tr

  4. Traceverb

    a mark, impression, or visible appearance of anything left when the thing itself no longer exists; remains; token; vestige

  5. Traceverb

    the intersection of a plane of projection, or an original plane, with a coordinate plane

  6. Traceverb

    the ground plan of a work or works

  7. Traceverb

    to mark out; to draw or delineate with marks; especially, to copy, as a drawing or engraving, by following the lines and marking them on a sheet superimposed, through which they appear; as, to trace a figure or an outline; a traced drawing

  8. Traceverb

    to follow by some mark that has been left by a person or thing which has preceded; to follow by footsteps, tracks, or tokens

  9. Traceverb

    hence, to follow the trace or track of

  10. Traceverb

    to copy; to imitate

  11. Traceverb

    to walk over; to pass through; to traverse

  12. Traceverb

    to walk; to go; to travel


  1. TRACE

    TRACE was a NASA space telescope designed to investigate the connections between fine-scale magnetic fields and the associated plasma structures on the Sun by providing high resolution images and observation of the solar photosphere and transition region to the corona. A main focus of the TRACE instrument is the fine structure of coronal loops low in the solar atmosphere. TRACE is a SMEX or SMall EXplorer mission, launched in 1998 and obtaining its last science image in 2010. The satellite was built by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Its telescope was constructed by a consortium led by Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center. The optics were designed and built to a state-of-the-art surface finish for the period, by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge MA. TRACE was launched in April 1998 on a Pegasus rocket, has a 30 cm aperture and 1024 x 1024 CCD detector giving an 8.5 arc minute field of view. The telescope is designed to take correlated images in a range of wavelengths from visible light, through the Lyman alpha line to far ultraviolet. The different wavelength passbands correspond to plasma emission temperatures from 4,000 to 4,000,000 K. The optics use a special multilayer technique to focus the difficult-to-reflect EUV light; the technique was first used for solar imaging in the late 1980s and 1990s, notably by the MSSTA and NIXT sounding rocket payloads.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Trace

    trās, n. a mark left: footprint: a small quantity: (fort.) the ground-plan of a work.—v.t. to follow by tracks or footsteps, to discover the tracks of, to follow step by step, to traverse: to follow with exactness: to sketch: to cover with traced lines or tracery.—v.i. to move, travel: to dance.—adj. Trace′able, that may be traced.—n. Trace′ableness.—adv. Trace′ably.—ns. Trā′cer; Trā′cery, ornamentation traced in flowing outline: the beautiful forms in stone with which the arches of Gothic windows are filled for the support of the glass. [Fr.,—L. tructus, pa.p. of trahĕre, to draw.]

  2. Trace

    trās, n. one of the straps by which a vehicle is drawn. [O. Fr. trays, trais, same as traits, pl. of trait; cf. Trait.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. trace

    In fortification, the horizontal disposition of the works; also, a plan of the same.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. TRACE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Trace is ranked #25226 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Trace surname appeared 982 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Trace.

    90.9% or 893 total occurrences were White.
    2.8% or 28 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.3% or 23 total occurrences were Black.
    2.3% or 23 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 8 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.7% or 7 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'trace' in Nouns Frequency: #1898

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'trace' in Verbs Frequency: #605

Anagrams for trace »

  1. react

  2. recta

  3. caret

  4. cater

  5. crate

  6. carte

  7. creat

  8. creta

How to pronounce trace?

How to say trace in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of trace in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of trace in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of trace in a Sentence

  1. Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, February 23, 1775:

    The changes in the human condition are uncertain and frequent. Many, on whom fortune has bestowed her favours, may trace their family to a more unprosperous station; and many who are now in obscurity, may look back upon the affluence and exalted rank of their ancestors.

  2. Mackay:

    An arrow may fly through the air and leave no trace; but an ill thought leaves a trail like a serpent.

  3. Eric Hoffer:

    Whenever you trace the origin of a skill or practices which played a crucial role in the ascent of man, we usually reach the realm of play.

  4. Anthony Bourdain:

    No trace of narcotics. No trace of any toxic products. Trace of medicines in therapeutic dose. Trace of alcohol.

  5. Laurence Rees:

    Over the years we've developed a large number of contacts, particularly through the archives in the East, which enabled us to approach these people, it's incredibly labor intensive and incredibly expensive. In order to find one perpetrator, one person who pulls the trigger and shoots people, researchers have to go through the original SS records and trawl through thousands and thousands of names. They've got to compare them against trial records. They've often got to go to the Russian archives to see whether any of these people were prosecuted. Then they've got to go through phone books in Germany. They've got to try and trace relatives and so on….

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Translations for trace

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"trace." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/trace>.

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    one whose prevailing mental imagery takes the form of inner feelings of action
    • A. bibulous
    • B. flabby
    • C. commensal
    • D. motile

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