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trace (v.)

late 14c., "follow (a course); draw a line, make an outline of something," also figurative; "ponder, investigate," from Old French tracier "look for, follow, pursue" (12c., Modern French tracer), from Vulgar Latin *tractiare "delineate, score, trace" (source also of Spanish trazar "to trace, devise, plan out," Italian tracciare "to follow by foot"), a frequentative form from Latin tractus "track, course," literally "a drawing out," from past participle stem of trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Meaning "move along, pass over" (a path, etc.) is attested from c. 1400; that of "track down, follow the trail of" is early 15c. Meaning "copy a drawing on a transparent sheet laid over it" is recorded from 1762. Related: Traced; tracing.

trace (n.1)

"track made by passage of a person or thing," c. 1300, from Old French trace "mark, imprint, tracks" (12c.), back-formation from tracier (see trace (v.)). Scientific sense of "indication of minute presence in some chemical compound" is from 1827. Traces "vestiges" is from c. 1400.

trace (n.2)

"straps or chains by which an animal pulls a vehicle," c. 1300, from earlier collective plural trays, from Old French traiz, plural of trait "strap for harnessing, act of drawing," from Latin tractus "a drawing, track," from stem of trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)). Related: Traces.

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Definitions of trace from WordNet
1
trace (v.)
follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something;
trace the student's progress
trace one's ancestry
Synonyms: follow
trace (v.)
make a mark or lines on a surface;
trace the outline of a figure in the sand
Synonyms: draw / line / describe / delineate
trace (v.)
to go back over again;
trace your path
Synonyms: retrace
trace (v.)
pursue or chase relentlessly;
The hunters traced the deer into the woods
Synonyms: hound / hunt
trace (v.)
discover traces of;
She traced the circumstances of her birth
trace (v.)
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
trace (v.)
copy by following the lines of the original drawing on a transparent sheet placed upon it; make a tracing of;
trace a pattern
trace a design
trace (v.)
read with difficulty;
The archeologist traced the hieroglyphs
Synonyms: decipher
2
trace (n.)
a just detectable amount;
he speaks French with a trace of an accent
Synonyms: hint / tint / suggestion
trace (n.)
an indication that something has been present;
there wasn't a trace of evidence for the claim
Synonyms: vestige / tincture / shadow
trace (n.)
a suggestion of some quality;
Synonyms: touch / ghost
trace (n.)
a drawing created by superimposing a semitransparent sheet of paper on the original image and copying on it the lines of the original image;
Synonyms: tracing
trace (n.)
either of two lines that connect a horse's harness to a wagon or other vehicle or to a whiffletree;
trace (n.)
a visible mark (as a footprint) left by the passage of person or animal or vehicle;
From wordnet.princeton.edu