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[treys] /treɪs/

either of the two straps, ropes, or chains by which a carriage, wagon, or the like is drawn by a harnessed horse or other draft animal.
a piece in a machine, as a bar, transferring the movement of one part to another part, being hinged to each.
kick over the traces, to throw off restraint; become independent or defiant:
He kicked over the traces and ran off to join the navy.
a mark or other sign that something has been in a place; vestige
a tiny or scarcely detectable amount or characteristic
a footprint or other indication of the passage of an animal or person
any line drawn by a recording instrument or a record consisting of a number of such lines
something drawn, such as a tracing
(mainly US) a beaten track or path
the postulated alteration in the cells of the nervous system that occurs as the result of any experience or learning See also memory trace, engram
(geometry) the intersection of a surface with a coordinate plane
(maths) the sum of the diagonal entries of a square matrix
(linguistics) a symbol inserted in the constituent structure of a sentence to mark the position from which a constituent has been moved in a generative process
(meteorol) an amount of precipitation that is too small to be measured
(archaic) a way taken; route
(transitive) to follow, discover, or ascertain the course or development of (something): to trace the history of China
(transitive) to track down and find, as by following a trail
to copy (a design, map, etc) by drawing over the lines visible through a superimposed sheet of transparent paper or other material
(transitive) often foll by out

(transitive) to decorate with tracery
(transitive) to imprint (a design) on cloth, etc
(usually foll by back) to follow or be followed to source; date back: his ancestors trace back to the 16th century
(archaic) to make one’s way over, through, or along (something)
either of the two side straps that connect a horse’s harness to the swingletree
(angling) a length of nylon or, formerly, gut attaching a hook or fly to a line
kick over the traces, to escape or defy control

late 14c., “to make a plan or diagram,” from Old French trasser “delineate, score, trace, follow, pursue” (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *tractiare “delineate, score, trace” (cf. Spanish trazar “to trace, devise, plan out,” Italian tracciare “to follow by foot”), from Latin tractus “track, course,” literally “a drawing out,” from past participle stem of trahere “to pull, draw” (see tract (n.1)).

Meaning “to pass over” (a path, etc.) is attested from late 14c.; that of “track down, follow the trail of” is early 15c., from trace (n.1). Sense of “draw an outline of” is first recorded late 14c. Meaning “copy a drawing on a transparent sheet laid over it” is recorded from 1762. Related: Traced; tracing.

“track made by passage of a person or thing,” mid-13c., from Old French trace, back-formation from tracier (see trace (v.)). Scientific sense of “indication of minute presence in some chemical compound” is from 1827. Traces “vestiges” is from c.1400.

“straps or chains by which an animal pulls a vehicle,” c.1300, from earlier collective plural trays, from Old French traiz, plural of trait “strap for harnessing, act of drawing,” from Latin tractus “a drawing, track,” from stem of trahere “to pull, draw” (see tract (1)).


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