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.


  1. TRAIL

    In the field of cell biology, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), is a protein functioning as a ligand that induces the process of cell death called apoptosis.TRAIL is a cytokine that is produced and secreted by most normal tissue cells. It causes apoptosis primarily in tumor cells, by binding to certain death receptors. TRAIL and its receptors have been used as the targets of several anti-cancer therapeutics since the mid-1990s, such as Mapatumumab. However, as of 2013, these have not shown significant survival benefit. TRAIL has also been implicated as a pathogenic or protective factor in various pulmonary diseases, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension.TRAIL has also been designated CD253 (cluster of differentiation 253) and TNFSF10 (tumor necrosis factor (ligand) superfamily, member 10).

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. litra

  2. trial

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. Machu Picchu:

    As soon as George [and] I came back from doing the Inca Trail is when my mind started shifting from Kilimanjaro being just a personal goal to including other amputees.

  2. Adam Kinzinger:

    We have a trail of Mark Meadows being aware now of what was happening at the Capitol, not just, you know,' Maybe I knew. Maybe I watched news' and everyone may know that that wasn't true. But you now have proof of it, people desperately pleading for Mark Meadows being aware now to get the President to be involved because the President, for something like 182 minutes, nobody heard from them. Nobody knew what Mark Meadows being aware now was up to despite this being all over the news, and we know Mark Meadows being aware now watches the news.

  3. Orrin Hatch:

    Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues -- or perhaps on the campaign trail.

  4. Greg Heil:

    If trail users simply treat each other with mutual respect, we could all get along and have a great time in the woods.

  5. Sean Gobin:

    Hiking the trail is like a reset button, it helps you become a civilian again.

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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    a petty misdeed
    • A. ignominy
    • B. impurity
    • C. evangelist
    • D. peccadillo

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