American English

Definition of trail noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a long line or series of marks that is left by someone or something a trail of blood tourists who leave a trail of litter everywhere they go The hurricane left a trail of destruction behind it.
  2. 2a track, sign, or smell that is left behind and that can be followed, especially in hunting The hounds were following the fox's trail. The police are still on the trail of the escaped prisoner. Fortunately the trail was still warm (= clear and easy to follow). The trail had gone cold.
  3. 3a path through the countryside synonym footpath a trail through the woods see also nature trail
  4. 4a route that is followed for a particular purpose a tourist trail (= of famous buildings and places) politicians on the campaign trail (= traveling around to attract support)
  5. Idioms
    blaze a trail
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    to be the first to do or to discover something that others follow The department is blazing a trail in the field of laser surgery. compare trail‧blaz‧er
    hit the road/trail (informal)
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    to start a trip
    hot on somebody's/something's tracks/trail (informal)
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    close to catching or finding the person or thing that you have been chasing or searching for
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: trail