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English definition of “trail”

trail

noun uk   /treɪl/ us  

trail noun (PATH)

B2 [C] a path through the countryside, often made or used for a particular purpose: a forest/mountain trail

trail noun (SIGNS)

C2 [C] the smell or series of marks left by a person, animal, or thing as it moves along: The dogs are specially trained to follow the trail left by the fox. He left a trail of muddy footprints behind him. [S] various pieces of information that together show where someone you are searching for has gone: The police admit that the thieves have left no trail for them to follow up. be on the trail of sb/sth to be searching for someone or something by examining information you find about where they went: The three men went to the Bahamas, on the trail of a sunken 17th-century galleon full of treasure.

trail

verb uk   /treɪl/ us  

trail verb (MOVE SLOWLY)

[I or T, usually + adv/prep] to (allow something to) move slowly along the ground or through the air or water, after someone or something: Katherine, your skirt's trailing in the mud! As the boat moved along, he trailed his hand in the water. C2 [I usually + adv/prep] to move slowly and without energy or enthusiasm: The delegates trailed back into the conference room for the afternoon session. After a mile or two the youngest children were trailing behind.

trail verb (IN A COMPETITION/GAME)

be trailing C2 to be losing to your competitor in a competition: The Swiss team are trailing by six points. The Nationalist Party is trailing (behind) the Liberals in the opinion polls.

trail verb (FOLLOW)

[T] to follow the trail of someone or something
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of trail from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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