• WordNet 3.6
    • v retrace reassemble mentally "reconstruct the events of 20 years ago"
    • v retrace to go back over again "we retraced the route we took last summer","trace your path"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Retrace To go back, in or over (a previous course); to go over again in a reverse direction; as, to retrace one's steps; to retrace one's proceedings.
    • Retrace To trace back, as a line. "Then if the line of Turnus you retrace ,
      He springs from Inachus of Argive race."
    • Retrace To trace over again, or renew the outline of, as a drawing; to draw again.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • retrace To trace or track backward; go over again in the reverse direction: as, to retrace one's steps.
    • retrace To trace back to an original source; trace out by investigation or consideration.
    • retrace To trace again; renew the lines of: as, to retrace the defaced outline of a drawing.
    • retrace To rehearse; repeat.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Retrace rē-trās′ to trace back: to go back by the same course: to renew the outline of: to repeat
    • ***


  • Nathalie Sarraute
    Nathalie Sarraute
    “Those who live in a world of human beings can only retrace their steps.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Pref. re-, + trace,: cf. F. retracer,. Cf. Retract


In literature:

He retraced his way to the city, and returned to his hotel.
"City Crimes" by Greenhorn
Wriggling from the crevice she hastily retraced her steps.
"El Diablo" by Brayton Norton
I retraced my way to the door and opened it.
"Hurricane Island" by H. B. Marriott Watson
Gipsy's idea of retracing their footsteps in the snow soon proved futile, for already all tracks were obliterated.
"The Leader of the Lower School" by Angela Brazil
He retraced his steps.
"The Web of the Golden Spider" by Frederick Orin Bartlett
How he longed to retrace his steps for just one more word!
"Traffic in Souls" by Eustace Hale Ball
It was impossible for us to retrace our steps.
"Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail" by Ezra Meeker
As she turned to retrace her steps that door suddenly opened and a hand grasped her shoulder.
"The Bondwoman" by Marah Ellis Ryan
He could never escape, never retrace his steps.
"Two Thousand Miles Below" by Charles Willard Diffin
We retraced our steps, entered the gully at its open end, and walked its length.
"Astounding Stories, March, 1931" by Various
The older man was inexorable, and the little party retraced their steps.
"East of the Shadows" by Mrs. Hubert Barclay
Feeling very tired, I began to retrace my steps, with the intention of going to bed.
"How I Filmed the War" by Lieut. Geoffrey H. Malins
To push on would be but to retrace his steps.
"Aces Up" by Covington Clarke
At last, and most reluctantly, he began to retrace his steps towards his hotel.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 4 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
She retraced her steps slowly; he would come!
"The Beggar Man" by Ruby Mildred Ayres
Having walked several blocks, Hal retraced his steps, and then took up a position in a sheltering door-way.
"The Missing Tin Box" by Arthur M. Winfield
Though Joshua had pursued his route by compass, he could not retrace it surely enough to find a lost man.
"The Come Back" by Carolyn Wells
It was useless to follow, and I began to retrace my steps.
"In The Ranks" by R. E. McBride
He did, in fact, go a little way up the mountain, but soon retraced his steps, and went down the valley towards the doctor's.
"Edelweiss" by Berthold Auerbach
I remained with them for an hour, then retraced my steps alone through the solitary woods.
"An Artilleryman's Diary" by Jenkin Lloyd Jones

In poetry:

They've settled the time and they've settled the place,
They've paid for the wine and the ale,
They've bitten their gloves, and their steps they retrace
To their castles in Ettrick's Vale.
"The Feud: A Border Ballad" by Adam Lindsay Gordon
My country! Would to God that praise
Might leave my lips, instead of blame!
So near the parting of the ways,
Subjected to the eager gaze
Of millions, jealous of thy fame,
Retrace the path that ends in shame!
"Fallen" by John Lawson Stoddard
As homeward we retraced our steps her heart seemed glad,
In hopes of seeing again her brave sailor lad,
He had promised to marry her when he would return,
So I bade her keep up her spirits and no longer mourn.
"Young Munro the Sailor" by William Topaz McGonagall
--As homeward through the lane I went with lazy feet,
This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat;
And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line,
That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was 'mine'.
"The Pet-Lamb" by William Wordsworth
And now, you know, throughout the year,
The sun in his celestial sphere
Passes through twelve bright signs:
Your wand'rings, therefore, quick retrace,
And by them you will find the place
Where for one month he shines.
"Enigma XXII." by Elizabeth Hitchener
Let us retrace our steps: I have deceived you:
Nothing is here I could not frankly tell you:
No hint of guilt, or faithlessness, or threat.
Dreams—they are madness. Staring eyes—illusion.
Let us return, hear music, and forget . . .
"The House Of Dust: Part 03: 03:" by Conrad Potter Aiken

In news:

Retracing the Pony Express route.
50 years later, students retrace 1961 Freedom Ride.
Dakota retrace 1862 forced march.
Tour to retrace Lincoln's steps in Va.'s capital.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A British film crew this week will retrace the steps of two inmates who escaped from the Indian River County Jail late last year.
Selma-to-Montgomery marchers retrace history's steps.
Grains Retrace Tuesday's Gains on Strong Dollar.
Charles Reed Jr is skipping his college graduation ceremony to do something much more significant to him: retracing the original 1961 Freedom Ride and paying tribute to those who helped win the civil rights that his generation enjoys.
MBA aims to retrace 2010 state title steps this year.
Springfield Students Retrace Jane Austen's Steps in England.
Young's New Poetry Collection Retraces the South.
After decade as international businessman, Dan Miller retraces his steps in new job.
In the dark silence, he mentally retraces dozens of plane trips and highway van rides with his former bandmate, Wade Michael Page, during his past life as a skinhead, white-supremacist rock star.
Laura Sky Brown, executive editor of, drove 300 miles to Bloomington, Indiana, on a Friday evening then retraced those same 300 miles the next day.
Chuck Yeager retraced history on Sunday, 65 years to the minute, as the first test pilot to break the sound barrier, taking to the skies once again to fly faster than the speed of sound.

In science:

The dynamics retraces periodically the original attractor states, as one can see from the oscillation of the overlap Op and the Ap , compare Eqs. (10) and (11), between the patterns of neural and attractor activities.
Generating functionals for autonomous latching dynamics in attractor relict networks
What is the effect of impurities in the region between the point contact and the superconductor? Classically, one would expect these to destroy the conductance doubling from Andreev reflection, because the hole no longer retraces the path of the electron (Fig. 44b).
Random-Matrix Theory of Quantum Transport
Martinelli, M., 1989, “A universal compensator for polarization changes induced by birefringence on a retracing beam”, Opt.
Quantum Cryptography
Omitting many details, the idea is that the “Fab” term is represented by a closed loop going around a triangle on one of the faces of the elementary tetrahedron and the “Ac” is represented by a line holonomy that is retraced to recover gauge invariance.
Canonical quantization of general relativity: the last 18 years in a nutshell
As shown in Fig. 8, Eq. (4.70) satisfies the condition for closed orbits so-called Bertrand’s theorem, which means a particle retraces its own foot step.
Classical Geometry of De Sitter Spacetime : An Introductory Review
Specifically for the Bethe lattice, all closed paths are self-retracing.
The Mott insulator - 10th order perturbation theory extended to infinite order using QMC
Here the groupoid of paths is defined, roughly speaking, as the set of (piecewise analytic) paths modulo retracings and reparametrisations together with the operations of 1. connecting paths with common beginning or inversion of orientation.
Loop Quantum Gravity: An Inside View
By retracing the asymptotically linear segments in Vg locate E ∗Z .
Large spin-orbit effects in small quantum dots
In this way, ˜x(t) retraces the reversed path of the stochastic trajectory x(t), and it starts at ˜x0 ≡ ˜x(0) = x(t), which corresponds to the final value of the stochastic tra jectory x(t).
Test of the fluctuation theorem for stochastic entropy production in a nonequilibrium steady state
Then, we retrace Bergman’s study on the size of the Invisible Web, in which we find some serious errors.
Exploring the academic invisible web
The system then retraces its path and the initial state is ful ly recovered.
From Time-symmetric Microscopic Dynamics to Time-asymmetric Macroscopic Behavior: An Overview
Using the background material of the previous Chapters, we now discuss in detail the so-cal led “KKLMMT model” of brane–anti-brane inflation, retracing each step from the ten-dimensional type IIB supergravity equations to the resulting fourdimensional inflationary cosmology.
Primordial Fluctuations in String Cosmology
Therefore, the reflected electron—equivalent to an incoming hole—has exactly the same velocity as the incident particle, and will thus retrace exactly the same path all the way to z = −∞.
Coherent exciton transport in semiconductors
By retracing the steps in the proof of Lemma 3.25 (and applying them inductively), one concludes that one might as well further replace Y by the right Kan extension ¯Y of its restriction to Pn´1 pS qd .
A general context for Goodwillie Calculus
Is there any evidence of such a signal in the BATSE data? From the relative time transformation paradigm presented in Letter 1, we can retrace such a P-GRB by reading off the time parameters of point 4 in Fig. 1 from Tab. 1, both in Letter 1.
On the interpretation of the burst structure of GRBs