English

Definition of trace noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

        

    trace

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//treɪs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//treɪs//
     
     
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  1. 1  [countable, uncountable] a mark, an object or a sign that shows that somebody/something existed or was present It's exciting to discover traces of earlier civilizations. Police searched the area but found no trace of the escaped prisoners. Years of living in England had eliminated all trace of her American accent. The ship had vanished without (a) trace.
  2. 2  [countable] trace of something a very small amount of something The post-mortem revealed traces of poison in his stomach. She spoke without a trace of bitterness.
  3. 3[countable] (specialist) a line or pattern on paper or a screen that shows information that is found by a machine The trace showed a normal heart rhythm.
  4. 4[countable] trace on somebody/something a search to find out information about the identity of somebody/something, especially what number a telephone call was made from The police ran a trace on the call. Detectives are doing a trace on the vehicle.
  5. 5[countable, usually plural] one of the two long pieces of leather that fasten a carriage or cart to the horse that pulls it
  6. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 3 Middle English (first recorded as a noun in the sense ‘path that someone or something takes’): from Old French trace (noun), tracier (verb), based on Latin tractus ‘drawing, draught’, from trahere ‘draw, pull’. noun sense 4 Middle English (denoting a pair of traces): from Old French trais, plural of trait, from Latin tractus ‘drawing, draught’, from trahere ‘draw, pull’.Extra examples Kelp is rich in vitamins and trace elements. Little trace is left of how Stone Age people lived. Remove all traces of rust with a small wire brush. The burglar had left several traces of his presence. The plane was lost without a trace over the Atlantic. The search party had found no trace of the missing climbers. The ship seems to have sunk without trace. The water was found to contain traces of cocaine. There was not the faintest trace of irony in her voice. Traces still remain of the long-defunct Surrey Iron Railway. Traces still remain of the old brewery. a trace of amusement/​anxiety/​a smile He spoke in English with only the trace of an accent. It’s exciting to discover traces of earlier civilizations. The police found traces of blood in the bathroom. The ship had vanished without (a) trace. There was no trace of a smile on his face. There was no trace of humour in his expression.Idioms (old-fashioned, British English) to start to behave badly and refuse to accept any discipline or control
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: trace

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