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From Wiktionary
trace is on the Academic Word List.





  1. (countable) A trace of something is a very small amount, almost too small to find.
    We've found traces of an earlier painting underneath this one.
    No trace of the original material remains.
    The last trace of cloud had disappeared from the sky.
    He said it without a trace of sadness.
    The fact that each coin has different trace elements provides clear evidence that they were made at different places.
  2. (countable) A trace is a line on a paper drawn by a machine that shows the ups and downs of something.
    The trace shows a very irregular heartbeat.
  3. (countable) A trace is a path that tells you where something came from.
    We've got a trace on the call.
    The fox was able to follow the trace the rabbit left on the ground.


Plain form

Third-person singular

Past tense

Past participle

Present participle

  1. (transitive) If you trace something, you follow information to find where it came from or where it went.
    Also, both the church and the farm can trace their origins back to the 1500s.
    The police soon traced the couple's movements and found they had made a number of telephone calls to Paris.
    The disease has been traced back to some bad eggs.
  2. (transitive) If you trace a line, you draw it.
    He traced a line in the sand.
  3. (transitive) If you trace a picture or a shape, you draw it by putting a piece of paper over it and drawing what you see underneath.
    She traced the Chinese characters carefully, the way you do before you learn to read.