From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishtracetrace1 /treɪs/ ●●○ AWL verb [transitive] 1 find somebody/somethingFIND to find someone or something that has disappeared by searching for them carefully She had given up all hope of tracing her missing daughter. Police are trying to trace a young woman who was seen near the accident.► see thesaurus at find2 originsFIND OUT to find the origins of when something began or where it came fromtrace something (back) to something They’ve traced their ancestry to Scotland. The style of these paintings can be traced back to early medieval influences.3 history/developmentDESCRIBE to study or describe the history, development, or progress of something Sondheim’s book traces the changing nature of the relationship between men and women.4 copyAVD to copy a drawing, map etc by putting a piece of transparent paper over it and then drawing the lines you can see through the paper► see thesaurus at draw5 with your fingerDRAW to draw real or imaginary lines on the surface of something, usually with your finger or toetrace something on/in/across something Rosie’s fingers traced a delicate pattern in the sand.6 → trace a call —traceable adjective→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpustrace• The other student has not been traced.• Police are trying to trace a red van, which several witnesses reported seeing near the scene of the crime.• The tradition traces back to medieval Spain.• Philips hired a private detective to trace his daughter, who had been missing for two months.• Their ancestry can be traced in the Reading area as far back as 1240.• "Did you draw this yourself?" "No, I traced it."• It has begun tracing lines, through totally vacant space, between recurrences.• Once again one can trace some continuities of practice with older forms of representation.• Keep him on the line so we can trace the call.• Students will trace the development of labor unions in the U.S.• Nor is the manner in which Mumford traces the historical roots of this development much different from that of Wittfogel.• The children traced the map of France and then wrote in the names of the places they had visited.• Police are still trying to trace the missing child.• It takes a bit of detective work to trace the symptom back to the cause.• The cash was eventually traced to a prominent Paris lawyer.trace something (back) to something• Three hundred workpeople trampling about and regular cleaning means traces are going to be destroyed long ago, I would have thought.• The success of the company can be traced to good marketing.• At least 80% green patina remains with enough traces of gilt to show that the overall effect was golden.• If today such spending amounts to roughly two-thirds of all economic activity, we can trace its origin back to the 1920s.• It takes a bit of detective work to trace the symptom back to the cause.• The roots of this new fascination can be traced back to the heart of minimalism.• This effect is traced inpart to the special status afforded to characters which are introduced through proper names.• Eusebius traces them to the time of the Emperor Trajan, A.D. 98-117.• Some trace their improvement to the unity forged there.trace something on/in/across something• Jen traced her name in the sand.