Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: PAINTING AND DRAWING

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: tracier, from Vulgar Latin tractiare 'to pull', from Latin trahere

trace

1 verb
     
trace1 [transitive]
1

find somebody/something

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.
2

origins

to find the origins of when something began or where it came from
trace 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/development

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

copy

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
5

with your finger

to draw real or imaginary lines on the surface of something, usually with your finger or toe
trace something on/in/across
Rosie's fingers traced a delicate pattern in the sand.
6

trace a call

TCT to find out where a telephone call is coming from by using special electronic equipment:
His call was traced and half an hour later police arrested him.
traceable adjective
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