- 1trace somebody/something (to something) to find or discover someone or something by looking carefully for them/it synonym track down We finally traced him to an address in Chicago. I have been unable to trace the letter you mentioned.
- 2 trace something (back) (to something) to find the origin or cause of something She could trace her family tree back to the 18th century. The leak was eventually traced to a broken seal. The police traced the call (= used special electronic equipment to find out who made the telephone call) to her ex-husband's number.
- 3 trace something (from something) (to something) to describe a process or the development of something Her book traces the town's history from colonial times to the present day.
- 4trace something (out) to draw a line or lines on a surface She traced a line in the sand.
- 5trace something to follow the shape or outline of something He traced the route on the map. A tear traced a path down her cheek.
- 6 trace something to copy a map, drawing, etc. by drawing on tracing paper (= transparent paper) placed over it
verbjump to other results
NAmE//treɪs//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they trace
he / she / it traces
past simple traced
-ing form tracing