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English definition of “trace”

trace

verb [T] (FIND)    /treɪs/
C1 to find someone or something that was lost: The police are trying to trace the mother of a newborn baby found abandoned outside a hospital. Attempts to trace the whereabouts of a man seen leaving the scene of the crime have so far been unsuccessful. Their missing daughter was finally traced to (= found in) Manchester.Finding and discovering C1 to find the origin of something: The phone company were unable to trace the call. No one has yet been able to trace the source of the rumour.Finding and discovering to discover the cause or origin of something by examining the way in which it has developed: The outbreak of food poisoning was traced to some contaminated shellfish. The practice of giving eggs at Easter can be traced back to festivals in ancient China. Rivalries between the gangs can be traced back to (= first happened in) the 1950s in some black and Hispanic neighbourhoods.Finding and discovering to describe the way in which something has developed: The film traces the events leading up to the Russian Revolution in 1917.Defining and explaining
(Definition of trace verb (FIND) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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