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See also: Tracer and tračer



trace +‎ -er



tracer (plural tracers)

  1. (chemistry) A compound, element, or isotope used to track the progress or history of a natural process.
  2. A round of ammunition for a firearm that contains magnesium or another flammable substance arranged such that it will burn and produce a visible trail when fired in the dark.
    Synonyms: tracer ammunition, tracer bullet
  3. The act or state of tracking or investigating something.
    • 1964, Galaxy Magazine (volume 23, issues 1-6, page 125)
      We have a five-man tracer on him now. He's heading for a Vorster cell on Michigan Boulevard, and he's drunk as a lord. Should we intercept him?
    • 2011, Joint Commission Resources, Environment of Care Tracer Workbook, →ISBN, page 5:
      A surveyor typically conducts a tracer on his or her own and later meets up with the rest of the team to discuss findings.
    • 2017, CardCaptorXP (lyrics), “From the Sewers”‎[1]:
      Ain't never running but I'm a paper chasing
      They gon catch up to me, they gon need a pacer
      How they over-watching me without a tracer
  4. A request to trace the movements of a person or an object, such as a shipment.
    • 2010, Claire Gilbert, A Runway for a Dream:
      The next morning when she awoke, she told Darcy what had happened, and Darcy agreed that she should go to the police and this time ask them if they could put a tracer on her incoming phone calls, just in case he called again.
  5. A person who traces something.
  6. A device or instrument used to assist in making tracings.

Derived terms[edit]





From Old French tracier, from Vulgar Latin *tractiō, from Latin tractum the past participle of trahō.




  1. (transitive) to draw or plot (a diagram), to trace out
  2. (transitive) to rule (a line)
  3. (informal) to buck up, hurry up


This verb is part of a group of -er verbs for which 'c' is softened to a 'ç' before the vowels 'a' and 'o'.


  • German: trassieren

Further reading[edit]