verb, noun
verb [VN]
1 ~ sb/sth (to sth) to find or discover sb/sth by looking carefully for them/it:
We finally traced him to an address in Chicago. I have been unable to trace the letter you mentioned.
2 ~ sth (back) (to sth) to find the origin or cause of sth:
She could trace her family tree back to the 16th 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 to describe a process or the development of sth:
Her book traces the town's history from Saxon times to the present day.
4 ~ sth (out) to draw a line or lines on a surface:
She traced a line in the sand.
5 to follow the shape or outline of sth:
He traced the route on the map. A tear traced a path down her cheek.
6 to copy a map, drawing, etc. by drawing on transparent paper (     TRACING PAPER) placed over it
1 [C, U] a mark, an object or a sign that shows that sb/sth 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 [C] ~ of sth a very small amount of sth:
The post-mortem revealed traces of poison in his stomach. She spoke without a trace of bitterness.
3 [C] (technical) 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 [C, usually pl.] one of the two long pieces of leather that fasten a carriage or CART to the horse that pulls it

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