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From Middle English trak, tracke, from Old French trac (track of horses, trail, trace), of uncertain origin. Likely from a Germanic source, either Old Norse traðk ("a track; path; trodden spot"; > Icelandic traðk (a track; path; tread), Faroese traðk (track; tracks), Norwegian tråkke (to trample)) or from Middle Dutch trec, *trac, treck ("line, row, series"; > Dutch trek (a draft; feature; trait; groove; expedition)), German Low German Treck (a draught; movement; passage; flow). See tread, trek.


  • enPR: trăk, IPA(key): /tɹæk/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æk


track (plural tracks)

  1. A mark left by something that has passed along.
    Synonyms: trace, trail, wake
    Follow the track of the ship.
    Can you see any tracks in the snow?
  2. A mark or impression left by the foot, either of man or animal.
    Synonyms: footprint, impression
    The fox tracks were still visible in the snow.
  3. The entire lower surface of the foot; said of birds, etc.
  4. A road or other similar beaten path.
    Synonyms: path, road, way
    Follow the track for a hundred metres.
  5. Physical course; way.
    Synonyms: course, path, trajectory, way
    Astronomers predicted the track of the comet.
  6. A path or course laid out for a race, for exercise, etc.
    Synonyms: course, racetrack
    The athletes ran round the track.
  7. The direction and progress of someone or something; path.
    • 2009, Kenneth H. Talan, Help Your Child Or Teen Get Back on Track, →ISBN:
      You cannot simply “get” your child back on track; you and others can only help your child with that task.
    • 2010, Randall Lee, Memoirs to My Women, →ISBN, page 242:
      My track record was enough proof that I couldn't use women for medicinal purposes, and even my attempts at casual relationships were not adequate enough to even temporarily release the poisons inside me.
  8. (railways) The way or rails along which a train moves.
    Synonyms: rails, railway, train tracks, tracks
    They briefly closed the railway to remove debris found on the track.
  9. A tract or area, such as of land.
    Synonyms: area, parcel, region, tract
  10. (slang) The street, as a prostitute's place of work.
    • 2012, Pimpin' Ken, PIMPOLOGY: The 48 Laws of the Game (page 11)
      A real pimp is a gentleman, but these are pimps in gorilla suits. They hang around pimps, they have hoes on the track working for them, they may even look like pimps, but they are straight simps.
    • 2012, Paul D. Jones, Twilight Nights: The Trials and Tribulations of the Game (page 130)
      After putting Tonya Down on the track, we headed to this club called the Players Club.
  11. Awareness of something, especially when arising from close monitoring.
    • 2006, James J. Gross & Michael F. Callahan, Money and Divorce: The First 90 Days and After, →ISBN, page 24:
      You will need to keep track of meetings with your lawyer and court deadlines.
    • 2012, Steven Gurgevich & Joy Gurgevich, The Self-Hypnosis Diet, →ISBN:
      We have to formulate what we want, be so concentrated on it, so focused on it, and so aware of it that we lose track of ourselves, we lose track of time, we lose track of our identity.
  12. (automotive) The distance between two opposite wheels on a same axletree.
    Synonym: track width
  13. (automotive) Short for caterpillar track.
  14. (cricket) The pitch.
    Synonyms: ground, pitch
  15. Sound stored on a record.
    Synonym: recording
  16. The physical track on a record.
    Synonym: groove
  17. (music) A song or other relatively short piece of music, on a record, separated from others by a short silence.
    My favourite track on the album is "Sunshine".
  18. A circular (never-ending) data storage unit on a side of magnetic or optical disk, divided into sectors.
  19. (uncountable, sports) The racing events of track and field; track and field in general.
    Synonyms: athletics, track and field
    I'm going to try out for track next week.
    • 1973, University of Virginia Undergraduate Record
      The University of Virginia belongs to the Atlantic Coast Conference and competes interscholastically in basketball, baseball, crew, cross country, fencing, football, golf, indoor track, lacrosse, polo, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, and wrestling.
  20. A themed set of talks within a conference.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

  • (distance between two opposite wheels): wheelbase: the distance between the front and rear axles of a vehicle.
  • Translations[edit]

    The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

    See also[edit]


    track (third-person singular simple present tracks, present participle tracking, simple past and past participle tracked)

    1. To continue over time.
      1. (transitive) To observe the (measured) state of a person or object over time.
        We will track the raven population over the next six months.
      2. (transitive) To monitor the movement of a person or object.
        Agent Miles has been tracking the terrorist since Madrid.
      3. (transitive) To match the movement or change of a person or object.
        My height tracks my father's at my age, so I might end up as tall as him.
      4. (transitive or intransitive, of a camera) To travel so that a moving object remains in shot.
        The camera tracked the ball even as the field of play moved back and forth, keeping the action in shot the entire time.
      5. (intransitive, chiefly of a storm) To move.
        The hurricane tracked further west than expected.
      6. (transitive) To traverse; to move across.
        • 1837, Elizabeth Parker, Popular Poems. Selected by E. P. (page 228)
          I've swept o'er the mountain, the forest and fell, / I've played on the rock where the wild chamois dwell; / I have tracked the desert so dreary and rude, / Through the pathless depths of its solitude; []
      7. (transitive) To tow.
      8. (intransitive) To exhibit good cognitive function.
        Is the patient tracking? Does he know where he is?
        • 2004, Catherine Anderson, Blue Skies, Penguin (→ISBN), page 39:
          Bess already knew about the painkillers and alcohol not mixing well.... "I wasn't tracking very well."
        • 2010 October 1, "karimitch" (username), "Memory Loss - Pancreatic Cancer Forums", in, Cancer Forums:
          My mother in the past couple of days has started to really get confused and lose her train of thought easily.... She isn't tracking very well.
    2. (transitive) To follow the tracks of.
      My uncle spent all day tracking the deer, whose hoofprints were clear in the mud.
    3. (transitive) To discover the location of a person or object by following traces.
      I tracked Joe to his friend's bedroom, where he had spent the night.
    4. (transitive) To make tracks on or to leave in the form of tracks.
      In winter, my cat tracks mud all over the house.
    5. (transitive or intransitive) To create a musical recording (a track).
      Lil Kyle is gonna track with that DJ next week.
      1. (computing, transitive or intransitive) To create music using tracker software.
        • 2018, Dafni Tragaki, Made in Greece: Studies in Popular Music
          At the time, tracking chiptunes (i.e. using trackers) was the fundamental method of chipmusic-making.
    6. (intransitive, colloquial) To make sense; to be consistent with known information
      • 1988, “The Rifle”, in Dynasty, season 8, episode 15:
        Vitron isn't hiding anything. The oil is there, the books are open, everything tracks.
      • 2002, “Midnight Sun”, in Without a Trace, season 1, episode 10:
        Before he took off, our guy went online... to transfer all his personal accounts into his checking account. CDs, money market funds, everything. That tracks. According to Nick, he was trying to sell the dry cleaners.
      • 2019, “Cleared for Approach”, in Manifest, season 1, episode 13:
        There was an electrical storm in the center of this blizzard, Ben. It's extremely rare, but it can happen. Dark lightning? I can't prove it, but it tracks.


    Derived terms[edit]

    Related terms[edit]




    Unadapted borrowing from English track.


    • IPA(key): /ˈtɾak/, [ˈt̪ɾak]


    track m (plural tracks)

    1. (sports) track

    Usage notes[edit]

    According to Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) prescriptions, unadapted foreign words should be written in italics in a text printed in roman type, and vice versa, and in quotation marks in a manuscript text or when italics are not available. In practice, this RAE prescription is not always followed.