I. verb Etymology: Middle English, perhaps from Anglo-French *trailer, alteration of trainer to drag, trail on the ground — more at train Date: 13th century intransitive verb 1. a. to hang down so as to drag along or sweep the ground b. to extend over a surface in a loose or straggling manner <
a vine that trails over the ground
c. to grow to such length as to droop over toward the ground <
trailing branches of a weeping birch
2. a. to walk or proceed draggingly, heavily, or wearily ; plod, trudge b. to lag behind ; do poorly in relation to others 3. to move, flow, or extend slowly in thin streams <
smoke trailing from chimneys
4. a. to extend in an erratic or uneven course or line ; straggle b. dwindle <
her voice trailing off
5. to follow a trail ; track game transitive verb 1. a. to draw or drag loosely along a surface ; allow to sweep the ground b. haul, tow 2. a. to drag (as a limb or the body) heavily or wearily b. to carry or bring along as an addition, burden, or encumbrance c. to draw along in one's wake 3. a. to follow upon the scent or trace of ; track b. to follow in the footsteps of ; pursue c. to follow along behind d. to lag behind (as a competitor) Synonyms: see chase II. noun Date: 14th century 1. something that trails or is trailed: as a. a trailing plant b. the train of a gown c. a trailing arrangement (as of flowers) ; spray d. the part of a gun carriage that rests on the ground when the piece is unlimbered 2. a. something that follows or moves along as if being drawn along ; train <
a trail of admirers
b. (1) the streak produced by a meteor (2) a continuous line produced photographically by permitting the image of a celestial body (as a star) to move over the plate c. a chain of consequences ; aftermath <
the…movement left a trail of bitterness and prejudice behind it — Paul Blanshard
3. a. a trace or mark left by something that has passed or been drawn along ; scent, track <
a trail of blood
b. (1) a track made by passage especially through a wilderness (2) a marked or established path or route especially through a forest or mountainous region c. a course followed or to be followed <
hit the campaign trail
trailless adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • trail — Ⅰ. trail UK US /treɪl/ verb ► [I or T] to be less successful than competitors or than expected: » This company s shares have left most rivals trailing. »Precious metal stocks trailed, at 124.35. trail behind sth »Prices of mortgage backed… …   Financial and business terms

  • Trail — Trail, n. 1. A track left by man or beast; a track followed by the hunter; a scent on the ground by the animal pursued; as, a deer trail. [1913 Webster] They traveled in the bed of the brook, leaving no dangerous trail. Cooper. [1913 Webster] How …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Trail — steht für: einen schmalen Weg, siehe Trampelpfad einen schmalen Pfad im Mountainbike Sport, siehe Singletrail Laufen abseits befestigter Straßen, siehe Traillauf, eine Disziplin im Reitsport, siehe Westernreiten ein Plattenlabel, siehe Trail… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Trail — (tr[=a]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Trailed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Trailing}.] [OE. trailen, OF. trailler to trail a deer, or hunt him upon a cold scent, also, to hunt or pursue him with a limehound, F. trailler to trail a fishing line; probably from a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • trail — [ trɛ(j)l ] n. m. • v. 1985; de l angl. trail bike (1969) « moto de motocross », de trail « piste, sentier » ♦ Anglic. Moto légère, polyvalente, dotée de suspensions à grand débattement. Des trails. ● trail nom masculin (anglais trail, piste)… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • trail — ► NOUN 1) a mark or a series of signs left behind by the passage of someone or something. 2) a track or scent used in following someone or hunting an animal. 3) a long thin part stretching behind or hanging down from something. 4) a beaten path… …   English terms dictionary

  • Trail — Trail, v. i. 1. To be drawn out in length; to follow after. [1913 Webster] When his brother saw the red blood trail. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. To grow to great length, especially when slender and creeping upon the ground, as a plant; to run or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Trail — Trail, MN U.S. city in Minnesota Population (2000): 62 Housing Units (2000): 35 Land area (2000): 0.992799 sq. miles (2.571337 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.992799 sq. miles (2.571337 sq. km) …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • trail — [trāl] vt. [ME trailen < MFr trailler < VL * tragulare < L tragula, small sledge, dragnet < trahere, to DRAW] 1. a) to drag or let drag behind one, esp. on the ground, etc. b) to bring along behind [trailing exhaust fumes] c) to pull… …   English World dictionary

  • trail — [n] path, track aisle, beaten track*, byway, footpath, footprints, footsteps, groove*, mark, marks, pathway, road, route, rut, scent, spoor, stream, stroll, tail, trace, train, wake, way; concept 501 trail [v] lag behind, follow bedog, bring up… …   New thesaurus

  • trail — index chase, delve, follow up, hunt, pursue (chase), search, spy, stem (originate …   Law dictionary

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