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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Trace \Trace\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. traced; p. pr. & vb. n. tracing.] [OF. tracier, F. tracer, from (assumed) LL. tractiare, fr.L. tractus, p. p. of trahere to draw. Cf. Abstract, Attract, Contract, Portratt, Tract, Trail, Train, Treat. ]

  1. To mark out; to draw or delineate with marks; especially, to copy, as a drawing or engraving, by following the lines and marking them on a sheet superimposed, through which they appear; as, to trace a figure or an outline; a traced drawing.

    Some faintly traced features or outline of the mother and the child, slowly lading into the twilight of the woods.

  2. To follow by some mark that has been left by a person or thing which has preceded; to follow by footsteps, tracks, or tokens.

    You may trace the deluge quite round the globe.
    --T. Burnet.

    I feel thy power . . . to trace the ways Of highest agents.

  3. Hence, to follow the trace or track of.

    How all the way the prince on footpace traced.

  4. To copy; to imitate.

    That servile path thou nobly dost decline, Of tracing word, and line by line.

  5. To walk over; to pass through; to traverse.

    We do tracethis alley up and down.


vb. (en-past of: trace)


adj. derived by copying something else; especially by following lines seen through a transparent sheet [syn: copied]

Usage examples of "traced".

On a previous day which was uniformly cloudy, a hypocotyl was firmly secured to a little stick, and a filament was fixed to the larger of the two cotyledons, and its movement was traced on a vertical glass.

The original figure was traced on a large scale, and from the obliquity of the line of view the outer parts of the diagram are much exaggerated.

The seed was surrounded by little bits of wet sponge, and the movement of the bead at the end of the filament was traced (Fig.

A filament was attached to another buried hypocotyl of the same age, and it moved in a similar general manner, but the line traced was not so complex.

On the following morning a filament was fixed to the midrib of the larger and taller cotyledon (which enfolds the other and smaller one, whilst still within the seed), and a mark being placed close behind, the movement of the whole plant, that is, of the hypocotyl and cotyledon, was traced greatly magnified on a vertical glass.

Figure here reduced to onethird of the original scale, as traced on a vertical glass.

The figure traced was a very complex one, though the movement was not so great in extent as in the last case.

A filament was fixed along the middle of one, and its movement traced on a vertical glass.

The ascending and descending lines traced during the three days did not coincide, so that the movement was one of circumnutation.

Their movement was traced during the whole of this day and until the next morning.

The line traced during these two days extended in the same general direction, and was in parts nearly straight, and in others plainly zigzag, thus giving some evidence of circumnutation.

A filament had been fixed to the midrib of one of the cotyledons, and the movement of the whole seedling was traced during two days.

The course pursued was mainly governed, as in the last case, by geotropism, but the line traced during 12 hours and magnified as before was more strongly zigzag, again showing circumnutation.

But the tracks were so slight that they could not be traced and copied after the smoked surface had been varnished.

The movements of the cotyledons were also traced both on vertical and horizontal glasses.