I. noun Etymology: Middle English trak, from Middle French trac Date: 15th century 1. a. detectable evidence (as the wake of a ship, a line of footprints, or a wheel rut) that something has passed b. a path made by or as if by repeated footfalls ; trail c. a course laid out especially for racing d. the parallel rails of a railroad e. (1) one of a series of parallel or concentric paths along which material (as music or information) is recorded (as on a phonograph record or magnetic tape) (2) a group of grooves on a phonograph record containing recorded sound (3) material recorded especially on or as if on a track <
a laugh track
instrumental tracks
a bonus commentary track on a DVD
f. a usually metal way (as a groove) serving as a guide (as for a movable lighting fixture) 2. a footprint whether recent or fossil <
the huge track of a dinosaur
3. a. the course along which something moves or progresses b. a way of life, conduct, or action c. one of several curricula of study to which students are assigned according to their needs or levels of ability d. the projection on the earth's surface of the path along which something (as a missile or an airplane) has flown 4. a. a sequence of events ; a train of ideas ; succession b. an awareness of a fact, progression, or condition <
keep track of the costs
lose track of the time
5. a. the width of a wheeled vehicle from wheel to wheel and usually from the outside of the rims b. the tread of an automobile tire c. either of two endless belts on which a tracklaying vehicle travels 6. track-and-field sports; especially those performed on a running track Synonyms: see tracetrackless adjective II. verb Date: 1565 transitive verb 1. a. to follow the tracks or traces of ; trail b. to search for by following evidence until found <
track down the source
2. a. to follow by vestiges ; trace b. to observe or plot the moving path of (as a spacecraft or missile) often instrumentally 3. to travel over ; traverse <
track a desert
4. a. to make tracks upon b. to carry (as mud) on the feet and deposit 5. to keep track of (as a trend) ; follow intransitive verb 1. travel <
a comet tracking eastward
2. a. of a phonograph needle to follow the groove undulations of a recording b. of a pair of wheels (1) to maintain a constant distance apart on the straightaway (2) to fit a track or rails c. of a rear wheel of a vehicle to follow accurately the corresponding fore wheel on a straightaway 3. to leave tracks (as on a floor) • tracker noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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