What does trail mean?

Definitions for trail

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word trail.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. trailnoun

    a track or mark left by something that has passed

    "there as a trail of blood"; "a tear left its trail on her cheek"

  2. trailnoun

    a path or track roughly blazed through wild or hilly country

  3. lead, track, trailverb

    evidence pointing to a possible solution

    "the police are following a promising lead"; "the trail led straight to the perpetrator"

  4. drag, trail, get behind, hang back, drop behind, drop backverb

    to lag or linger behind

    "But in so many other areas we still are dragging"

  5. chase, chase after, trail, tail, tag, give chase, dog, go after, trackverb

    go after with the intent to catch

    "The policeman chased the mugger down the alley"; "the dog chased the rabbit"

  6. trail, shackverb

    move, proceed, or walk draggingly or slowly

    "John trailed behind his class mates"; "The Mercedes trailed behind the horse cart"

  7. trailverb

    hang down so as to drag along the ground

    "The bride's veiled trailed along the ground"

  8. trail, trainverb

    drag loosely along a surface; allow to sweep the ground

    "The toddler was trailing his pants"; "She trained her long scarf behind her"


  1. trailnoun

    The track or indication marking the route followed by something that has passed, such as the footprints of animal on land or the contrail of an airplane in the sky.

  2. trailnoun

    A route for travel over land, especially a narrow, unpaved pathway for use by hikers, horseback riders, etc.

  3. trailnoun

    A trailer broadcast on television for a forthcoming film or programme.

  4. trailverb

    To follow behind (someone or something); to tail (someone or something).

    The hunters trailed their prey deep into the woods.

  5. trailverb

    To drag (something) behind on the ground.

    You'll get your coat all muddy if you trail it around like that.

  6. trailverb

    To leave (a trail of).

    He walked into the house, soaking wet, and trailed water all over the place.

  7. trailverb

    To show a trailer of (a film, TV show etc.); to release or publish a preview of (a report etc.) in advance of the full publication.

  8. trailverb

    To be losing, to be behind in a competition.

  9. Etymology: trahere, to drag along

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Trailnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    See but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry out thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open again. William Shakespeare.

    How chearfully on the false trail they cry!
    Oh, this is counter, you false Danish dogs. William Shakespeare.

    I do think, or else this brain of mine
    Hunts not the trail of policy so sure
    As I have us’d to do, that I have found
    The very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    From thence the fuming trail began to spread,
    And lambent glories danc’d about her head. John Dryden, Æn.

    When light’ning shoots in glitt’ring trails along:
    It shines, ’tis true, and gilds the gloomy night;
    But when it strikes, ’tis fatal. Nicholas Rowe, Royal Convert.

    And round about her work she did empale
    With a fair border wrought of sundry flow’rs,
    Enwoven with an ivy winding trail. Edmund Spenser, Muiopotmos.

    A sudden star it shot through liquid air,
    And drew behind a radiant trail of hair. Alexander Pope.

  2. To Trailverb

    Etymology: trailler, Fr.

    Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully:
    Trail your steel pikes. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Faintly he staggered through the hissing throng,
    And hung his head, and trail’d his legs along. Dryden.

    What boots the regal circle on his head,
    That long behind he trails his pompous robe,
    And, of all monarchs, only grasps the globe? Alexander Pope.

    Because they shall not trail me through their streets
    Like a wild beast, I am content to go. John Milton, Agonistes.

    Thrice happy poet, who may trail
    Thy house about thee like a snail;
    Or harness’d to a nag, at ease
    Take journies in it like a chaise;
    Or in a boat, whene’er thou wilt,
    Canst make it serve thee for a tilt. Jonathan Swift.

  3. To Trailverb

    To be drawn out in length.

    When his brother saw the red blood trail
    Adown so fast, and all his armour steepe,
    For very felness loud he ’gan to weep. Fairy Qu. b. ii.

    Since the flames pursu’d the trailing smoke,
    He knew his boon was granted. John Dryden, Knight’s Tale.

    From o’er the roof the blaze began to move,
    And trailing vanish’d in th’ Idean grove.
    It swept a path in heav’n, and shone a guide,
    Then in a steaming stench of sulphur dy’d. John Dryden, Æn.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Trailverb

    to hunt by the track; to track

  2. Trailverb

    to draw or drag, as along the ground

  3. Trailverb

    to carry, as a firearm, with the breech near the ground and the upper part inclined forward, the piece being held by the right hand near the middle

  4. Trailverb

    to tread down, as grass, by walking through it; to lay flat

  5. Trailverb

    to take advantage of the ignorance of; to impose upon

  6. Trailverb

    to be drawn out in length; to follow after

  7. Trailverb

    to grow to great length, especially when slender and creeping upon the ground, as a plant; to run or climb

  8. Trailnoun

    a track left by man or beast; a track followed by the hunter; a scent on the ground by the animal pursued; as, a deer trail

  9. Trailnoun

    a footpath or road track through a wilderness or wild region; as, an Indian trail over the plains

  10. Trailnoun

    anything drawn out to a length; as, the trail of a meteor; a trail of smoke

  11. Trailnoun

    anything drawn behind in long undulations; a train

  12. Trailnoun

    anything drawn along, as a vehicle

  13. Trailnoun

    a frame for trailing plants; a trellis

  14. Trailnoun

    the entrails of a fowl, especially of game, as the woodcock, and the like; -- applied also, sometimes, to the entrails of sheep

  15. Trailnoun

    that part of the stock of a gun carriage which rests on the ground when the piece is unlimbered. See Illust. of Gun carriage, under Gun

  16. Trailnoun

    the act of taking advantage of the ignorance of a person; an imposition


  1. Trail

    Trail is a city in the West Kootenay region of the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Trail

    trāl, v.t. to draw along the ground: to hunt by tracking: to draw out, lead on: to tread down, as grass, by walking through: to carry, as a musket or pike, in an oblique forward position, the breech or the butt near the ground.—v.i. to be drawn out in length, to hang or drag loosely behind: to run or climb as a plant: to move with slow sweeping motion: to drag one's self lazily along.—n. anything drawn out in length: track followed by the hunter.—ns. Trail′er, one who trails: a climbing plant: a carriage dragged (or trailed) behind another to which the motive power is applied; Trail′-net, a drag-net. [O. Fr. traail—Low L. trahale—L. traha, a sledge—trahĕre, to draw.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. trail

    In tactics, to carry, as a fire-arm, with the butt near the ground, and the muzzle inclined forward, the piece being held by the right hand near the middle.

  2. trail

    In gunnery, the end of a traveling-carriage, opposite to the wheels, and upon which the carriage slides when unlimbered. See Ordnance, Carriages for.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'trail' in Nouns Frequency: #2342

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'trail' in Verbs Frequency: #1036

Anagrams for trail »

  1. trial

  2. litra

How to pronounce trail?

How to say trail in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of trail in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of trail in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of trail in a Sentence

  1. Ron Tipton:

    Approximately 15,000 people have completed the trail, the reasons they don't complete the trail vary from injury, fatigue and I'd say the most common reason is they don't realize how hard it is and they aren't ready for the experience.

  2. Nicholas Cropper:

    I'm eager to get on the trail and do this and be the candidate, but I understand that there's a lot to this that I haven't experienced yet, that's not to say I won't try this year for my local city council in Sarasota.

  3. Mizanur Rahman Khan:

    Fortunately, the harvesting of the rice crop has almost been completed. Still it could leave a trail of destruction.

  4. Saul Anuzis:

    He's a hyper-fast moving type of guy, when he sits across from you and says,' I'm making a commitment and I'm asking you to make a commitment,' -- he's not benefiting from it financially or politically in any way -- I think that's a pretty powerful selling tool to have.' Keep the Promises This summer, Toby Neugebauer stepped back from day-to-day operations and was replaced primarily by David Barton, a Texas operative with deep ties to the nation's pastors. Tom Patrick, Tom Patrick, said Tom Patrick hadn't heard from Toby Neugebauer in months. Like David Barton, the three groups tied to the three anchor families all have religious tones. Keep the Promise III, backed solely by $ 15 million from Texas fracking giants Farris and Dan Wilks, is breaking through in digital organizing via Promise III Reigniting the Promise project, with a months-old Facebook page that has quickly earned more than 350,000 likes. Conservative Solutions Project is advised by Jon Francis, a Dan Wilks family member and the manager of their philanthropic giving, along with a coterie of anti-abortion activists from a group called Online for Life, who have no prior experience in partisan politics. Keep the Promise I, funded by Long Island billionaire Robert Mercer and helmed by Kellyanne Conway, a well-regarded GOP political operative, is focusing a $ 1 million radio campaign on Christian channels in Iowa, where Ted Cruz is increasingly polling well. The $ 11 million group is also diversifying its portfolio and hiring organizers in the states. Steve King, an Iowa political operative and son of powerful Rep. Steve King, is leading a growing field team in the Hawkeye State, and there are plans to staff up in South Carolina as well to supplement the official campaign field team -- which South Carolina's bumping into on the trail.

  5. Chuck Norris:

    I will be joining Chuck Norris on the trail.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for trail

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • أثر, جرّArabic
  • pista, corriol, rastre, arrossegarCatalan, Valencian
  • spor, følgeDanish
  • nacheilen, verfolgen, Weg, zurücklassen, Pfad, schleppen, nachstellen, nachsetzen, folgen, Spur, ziehen, eine Spur hinter sich lassen, schleifenGerman
  • ίχνος, μονοπάτιGreek
  • rastro, pista, seguir, arrastrar, senderoSpanish
  • jälki, jättää jälkeensä, seurata, jäljittää, eräreitti, polku, reitti, raahataFinnish
  • traces, traîner, suivre, sentier, piste, pisterFrench
  • slighe, slaodScottish Gaelic
  • արահետ, շավիղArmenian
  • traccia, seguire, pedinare, strascicare, trascinare, trainare, inseguire, pista, sentieroItalian
  • კვალი, ბილიკი, ნაკვალევიGeorgian
  • semita, vestīgiaLatin
  • paparahi, makenu, kitō, aru, maheuMāori
  • spoor, pad, routeDutch
  • ścieżka, trop, śledzić, tropićPolish
  • rasto, arrastar, seguir, trilha, rastroPortuguese
  • след, тащить, волочить, тропа, выследить, выслеживать, тянутьRussian
  • stig, spår, ledSwedish
  • జాడ, కాలిబాటTelugu
  • שטעגYiddish
  • 線索Chinese

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    warn strongly; put on guard
    • A. abrade
    • B. knead
    • C. gloat
    • D. monish

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