Date: 1400-1500
Language: Old French
Origin: trac


1 noun
track1 S2 W2


[countable]SG a narrow path or road with a rough uneven surface, especially one made by people or animals frequently moving through the same place:
The road leading to the farm was little more than a dirt track.
The track led through dense forest.
a steep mountain track

marks on ground


[plural] a line of marks left on the ground by a moving person, animal, or vehicle:
We followed the tyre tracks across a muddy field.
The tracks, which looked like a fox's, led into the woods.

for racing

[countable]DS a circular course around which runners, cars etc race, which often has a specially prepared surface:
To run a mile, you have to run four circuits of the track.
dirt track (2)


a) TTT the two metal lines along which trains travel [= railway line]:
The track was damaged in several places.
b) American English the particular track that a train leaves from or arrives at:
The train for Boston is leaving from track 2.

be on the right/wrong track

to think in a way that is likely to lead to a correct or incorrect result:
We've had the initial test results and it looks as though we're on the right track.

keep/lose track of somebody/something

to pay attention to someone or something, so that you know where they are or what is happening to them, or to fail to do this:
It's difficult to keep track of all the new discoveries in genetics.
I just lost all track of time.


[countable]APM one of the songs or pieces of music on a record, cassette, or CD:
There's a great Miles Davis track on side two.

stop/halt (dead) in your tracks

to suddenly stop, especially because something has frightened or surprised you

cover your tracks

to be careful not to leave any signs that could let people know where you have been or what you have done because you want to keep it a secret, usually because it is illegal:
He tried to cover his tracks by burning all the documents.


[uncountable] American English
a) DSO sport that involves running on a track:
The next year he didn't run track or play football.
b) DSO all the sports in an athletics competition such as running, jumping, or throwing the javelin:
a famous track star
She went out for track in the spring (=she joined the school's track team).

be on track

spoken to be likely to achieve the result you want:
We're still on track for 10% growth.

get off the track

spoken to begin to deal with a new subject rather than the main one which was being discussed:
Don't get off the track, we're looking at this year's figures not last year's.

be on the track of somebody/something

to hunt or search for someone or something:
Police are on the track of the bank robbers.

make tracks

spoken used to say you must leave a place:
It's time we started making tracks.


[countable] the direction or line taken by something as it moves
track of
islands that lie in the track of North Atlantic storms

on a vehicle

[countable]TT a continuous metal band that goes over the wheels of a vehicle such as a bulldozer, allowing it to move over uneven ground

➔ off the beaten track

at beaten (1), one-track mind

➔ be from the wrong side of the tracks

at wrong1 (17)
a big road: main road, highway, motorway British English, freeway American English, expressway, turnpike American English, interstate American English, A-road British English

a road in a town: street, avenue, boulevard

a road in the countryside: country road, lane, track

a road you pay to use: toll road

parts of a road: fast lane, slow lane, hard shoulder British English/shoulder American English, central reservation British English/median strip American English, pavement British English/sidewalk American English

See also

Explore GEOGRAPHY Topic