/trays/, n., v., traced, tracing.
1. a surviving mark, sign, or evidence of the former existence, influence, or action of some agent or event; vestige: traces of an advanced civilization among the ruins.
2. a barely discernible indication or evidence of some quantity, quality, characteristic, expression, etc.: a trace of anger in his tone.
3. an extremely small amount of some chemical component: a trace of copper in its composition.
4. traces, the series of footprints left by an animal.
5. the track left by the passage of a person, animal, or object: the trace of her skates on the ice.
6. Meteorol. precipitation of less than 0.005 in. (0.127 mm).
7. a trail or path, esp. through wild or open territory, made by the passage of people, animals, or vehicles.
8. engram.
9. a tracing, drawing, or sketch of something.
10. a lightly drawn line, as the record drawn by a self-registering instrument.
11. Math.
a. the intersection of two planes, or of a plane and a surface.
b. the sum of the elements along the principal diagonal of a square matrix.
c. the geometric locus of an equation.
12. the visible line or lines produced on the screen of a cathode-ray tube by the deflection of the electron beam.
13. Ling. (in generative grammar) a construct that is phonologically empty but serves to mark the place in the surface structure of a sentence from which a noun phrase has been moved by a transformational operation.
14. Obs. a footprint.
15. to follow the footprints, track, or traces of.
16. to follow, make out, or determine the course or line of, esp. by going backward from the latest evidence, nearest existence, etc.: to trace one's ancestry to the Pilgrims.
17. to follow (footprints, evidence, the history or course of something, etc.).
18. to follow the course, development, or history of: to trace a political movement.
19. to ascertain by investigation; find out; discover: The police were unable to trace his whereabouts.
20. to draw (a line, outline, figure, etc.).
21. to make a plan, diagram, or map of.
22. to copy (a drawing, plan, etc.) by following the lines of the original on a superimposed transparent sheet.
23. to mark or ornament with lines, figures, etc.
24. to make an impression or imprinting of (a design, pattern, etc.).
25. (of a self-registering instrument) to print in a curved, broken, or wavy-lined manner.
26. to put down in writing.
27. to go back in history, ancestry, or origin; date back in time: Her family traces back to Paul Revere.
28. to follow a course, trail, etc.; make one's way.
29. (of a self-registering instrument) to print a record in a curved, broken, or wavy-lined manner.
[1250-1300; late ME tracen, ME: to make one's way, proceed < MF tracier < VL *tractiare, deriv. of L tractus, ptp. of trahere to draw, drag; (n.) ME: orig., way, course, line of footprints < OF, deriv. of tracier]
Syn. 1. TRACE, VESTIGE agree in denoting marks or signs of something, usually of the past. TRACE, the broader term, denotes any mark or slight indication of something past or present: a trace of ammonia in water. VESTIGE is more limited and refers to some slight, though actual, remains of something that no longer exists: vestiges of one's former wealth. 2. hint, suggestion, taste, touch. 5. spoor, trail, record. 15. trail.
Ant. 3. abundance, plethora.
/trays/, n.
1. 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. See illus. under harness.
2. a piece in a machine, as a bar, transferring the movement of one part to another part, being hinged to each.
3. kick over the traces, to throw off restraint; become independent or defiant: He kicked over the traces and ran off to join the navy.
[1300-50; ME trais < MF, pl. of trait strap for harness, action of drawing < L tractus a drawing, dragging; see TRACT1]

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Universalium. 2010.

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