• WordNet 3.6
    • v trail drag loosely along a surface; allow to sweep the ground "The toddler was trailing his pants","She trained her long scarf behind her"
    • v trail hang down so as to drag along the ground "The bride's veiled trailed along the ground"
    • v trail go after with the intent to catch "The policeman chased the mugger down the alley","the dog chased the rabbit"
    • v trail to lag or linger behind "But in so many other areas we still are dragging"
    • v trail move, proceed, or walk draggingly or slowly "John trailed behind his class mates","The Mercedes trailed behind the horse cart"
    • n trail a path or track roughly blazed through wild or hilly country
    • n trail evidence pointing to a possible solution "the police are following a promising lead","the trail led straight to the perpetrator"
    • n trail a track or mark left by something that has passed "there as a trail of blood","a tear left its trail on her cheek"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

One can generally pass around obstructions like this on the trail One can generally pass around obstructions like this on the trail
Difficulties of the Adirondack trail Difficulties of the Adirondack trail
Blazing the trail by bending down and breaking branches Blazing the trail by bending down and breaking branches
Returning to camp by the blazed trail Returning to camp by the blazed trail

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: If someone were to capture and bottle a comet's 10,000-mile vapor trail, the amount of vapor actually present in the bottle would take up less than one cubic inch of space.
    • Trail A footpath or road track through a wilderness or wild region; as, an Indian trail over the plains.
    • Trail A frame for trailing plants; a trellis.
    • Trail A track left by man or beast; a track followed by the hunter; a scent on the ground by the animal pursued; as, a deer trail . "They traveled in the bed of the brook, leaving no dangerous trail .""How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!"
    • Trail Anything drawn along, as a vehicle.
    • Trail Anything drawn behind in long undulations; a train. "A radiant trail of hair."
    • Trail Anything drawn out to a length; as, the trail of a meteor; a trail of smoke. "When lightning shoots in glittering trails along."
    • Trail (Mil) That part of the stock of a gun carriage which rests on the ground when the piece is unlimbered. See Illust. of Gun carriage, under Gun.
    • Trail The act of taking advantage of the ignorance of a person; an imposition.
    • Trail The entrails of a fowl, especially of game, as the woodcock, and the like; -- applied also, sometimes, to the entrails of sheep. "The woodcock is a favorite with epicures, and served with its trail in, is a delicious dish."
    • Trail To be drawn out in length; to follow after. "When his brother saw the red blood trail ."
    • Trail (Mil) To carry, as a firearm, with the breech near the ground and the upper part inclined forward, the piece being held by the right hand near the middle.
    • Trail To draw or drag, as along the ground. "And hung his head, and trailed his legs along.""They shall not trail me through their streets
      Like a wild beast."
      "Long behind he trails his pompous robe."
    • Trail to follow behind.
    • Trail To grow to great length, especially when slender and creeping upon the ground, as a plant; to run or climb.
    • Trail To hunt by the track; to track.
    • Trail To pursue. "Their navy was pursuivanted after with a horrible tempest."
    • Trail To take advantage of the ignorance of; to impose upon. "I presently perceived she was (what is vernacularly termed trailing Mrs. Dent; that is, playing on her ignorance."
    • Trail To tread down, as grass, by walking through it; to lay flat.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Many koalas are killed in sanctuaries by cars of visitors. 2. A newborn koala finds its way to the mother's pouch by following a trail of saliva.
    • n trail A local term in southern England for confused deposits of glacial debris resting upon soft sands, clays, etc., which latter have been crumpled and squeezed by ice-pressure.
    • n trail unsorted glacial or related deposits containing human implements ana resting upon a preglacial surface in southern England called the ‘Palæolithic floor.’ See trail, 6.
    • trail To fasten (as wagons) one behind the other so as to form a train.
    • trail In casino, to play a card which neither builds nor takes in anything.
    • n trail A part dragged behind; something drawn after; a train; a rear appendage. Specifically— The train of a skirt or robe.
    • n trail A trailing part or organ; a train: as, the trail of the peacock: often used figuratively.
    • n trail In artillery, the lower end of the carriage; in field-artillery, that part of the carriage which reats on the ground when unlimbered. See cut under gun-carriage.
    • n trail Any long appendage, real or apparent, as a line or streak marking the path just passed over by a moving body: as, the trail of a meteor; a trail of smoke.
    • n trail In astronomy, the elongated image of a star produced upon a photographic plate, which is not made to follow the star's diurnal motion. The intensity of this trail is used as a measure of the star's brightness.
    • n trail The track or mark left by something dragged or drawn along the ground or over a surface: as, the trail of a snail. Specifically— The mark or scent left on the ground by anything pursued, as in hunting; the track followed by a hunter: especially in the phrase on the trail.
    • n trail A path or road mȧde by the passage of something, as of animals or men; a beaten path, as across the prairies, a mountain, or a desert; a rude path.
    • n trail Figuratively, a clue; a trace.
    • n trail A vehicle dragged along; a drag; a sled; a sledge.
    • n trail The act of playing upon, or of taking advantage of, a person's ignorance. See trail, verb, 6.
    • n trail Synonyms Path, Track, etc. See way.
    • trail To draw along behind.
    • trail To drag or draw loosely along the ground or other surface, as the train of a woman's dress.
    • trail Milit., to carry in an oblique forward position, with the breech or the butt near the ground, the piece or the pike being held by the right hand near the middle: as, to trail arms.
    • trail To beat down or make a beaten path through by frequent treading; make a beaten path through: as, to trail grass.
    • trail To hunt or follow up by the track or scent; follow in the trail or tracks of; track.
    • trail To draw out; lead on, especially in a mischievous or ill-natured way; play upon the ignorance or fears of.
    • trail To hang down or drag loosely behind, as the train of a woman's dress.
    • trail To grow loosely and without self-support to a considerable length along the ground or over bushes, rocks, or other low objects; recline or droop and as it were drag upon the ground, as a branch. See trailing plant, below.
    • trail To move with a slow sweeping motion.
    • trail To loiter or creep along as a straggler or a person who is nearly tired out; walk or make one's way idly or lazily.
    • trail To reach or extend in a straggling way.
    • trail To fish with or from a trailer: as, to trail for mackerel.
    • n trail A latticed frame; a trellis for running or climbing plants.
    • n trail A running ornament or enrichment of leaves, flowers, tendrils, etc., as in the hollow moldings of Gothic architecture; a wreath.
    • trail To overspread with a tracery or intertwining pattern or ornament.
    • n trail Entrails; the intestines of game when cooked and sent to table, as those of snipe and woodcock, and certain fish; also, the intestines of sheep.
    • n trail A rail with a cross-section having approximately the form of a letter T. See rail, 5.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: When ants find food, they lay down a chemical trail, called a pheromone, so that other ants can find their way from the nest to the food source.
    • v.t Trail trāl to draw along the ground: to hunt by tracking: to draw out, lead on: to tread down, as grass, by walking through: to carry, as a musket or pike, in an oblique forward position, the breech or the butt near the ground
    • v.i Trail to be drawn out in length, to hang or drag loosely behind: to run or climb as a plant: to move with slow sweeping motion: to drag one's self lazily along
    • n Trail anything drawn out in length: track followed by the hunter
    • ***


  • Edward A. Navajo
    Edward A. Navajo
    “Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.”
  • Paul Murray Kendall
    Paul Murray Kendall
    “On the trail of another man, the biographer must put up with finding himself at every turn; any biography uneasily shelters an autobiography within it.”
  • Heraclitus
    “If you do not the expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.”
  • Nadine Gordimer
    “The gap between the committed and the indifferent is a Sahara whose faint trails, followed by the mind's eye only, fade out in sand.”
  • Les Brown
    “You cannot be wimpy out there on the dream-seeking trail. Dare to break through barriers, to find your own path.”
  • Charles Mackay
    Charles Mackay
    “An arrow may fly through the air and leave no trace; but an ill thought leaves a trail like a serpent.”


Trail your coat - If you trail your coat, you act in a provocative way.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. trailen, OF. trailler, to trail a deer, or hunt him upon a cold scent, also, to hunt or pursue him with a limehound, F. trailler, to trail a fishing line; probably from a derivative of L. trahere, to draw; cf. L. traha, a drag, sledge, tragula, a kind of drag net, a small sledge, Sp. trailla, a leash, an instrument for leveling the ground, D. treilen, to draw with a rope, to tow, treil, a rope for drawing a boat. See Trace (v. t.)


In literature:

But when I meet him on the trail I'll put it to him!
"The Woman from Outside" by Hulbert Footner
She back-trailed over to it, and up over it she went, just like a swallow flies, but look at her stockings and skirt!
"Girl Scouts in the Adirondacks" by Lillian Elizabeth Roy
I'll just trail him, like a cougar trails a deer.
"The Boy Scouts Book of Campfire Stories" by Various
He had followed rough and evil trails all his life.
"The Fighting Edge" by William MacLeod Raine
They picked up your trail mighty smart.
"A Virginia Scout" by Hugh Pendexter
He says he knows the trail, and, of course, he's got the moon.
"Across the Mesa" by Jarvis Hall
A mile beyond the draw the trail forked, and Stratton took the left-hand branch.
"Shoe-Bar Stratton" by Joseph Bushnell Ames
The reverse is true of the Ute Trail, which brings one too quickly to the stupendous arctic summit of Trail Ridge.
"The Book of the National Parks" by Robert Sterling Yard
Indeed, the trail scarcely could be called a trail at all, all trace of the original traders' paths now being lost.
"The Young Alaskans in the Rockies" by Emerson Hough
They were not keeping to the trail at all; trails were too tame for them in that mood.
"The Ranch at the Wolverine" by B. M. Bower

In poetry:

Shadowed sails, clouded sails,
Life hath made me know
That you leave no jewelled trails,
Proudly though you go;
"Weariness" by John Lawson Stoddard
Ever the wide world over, lass,
Ever the trail held true,
Over the world and under the world,
And back at the last to you.
"The Gipsy Trail" by Rudyard Kipling
Oh, there's not a drop of water
In that waste of desert land
And the soldiers' tongues are hanging out
And trailing in the sand.
"Mandalay 1" by Billy Bennett
In the west the sun departing
Leaves the weary day asleep,
And the willows trail their streamers
In these waters still and deep.
"Sedge Songs" by Nikolaus Lenau
Not rose-crowned June, in trailing robes of bloom,
Her flowery censers breathing rich perfume,
Her glorious sunshine, and her bluest skies,
Her wealth of dancing leaves where zephyr sighs.
"October, 1861." by Janet Hamilton
April now walks the fields again,
Trailing her tearful leaves
And holding all her frightened buds against her heart:
Wrapt in her clouds and mists,
She walks,
Groping her way among the graves of men.
"April On The Battlefields" by Leonora Speyer

In news:

These nine trails represent a new breed of trails built just for mountain bikers.
Trail Stats Roughly 30 miles of trails wind through this 1,100-acre park.
Trail Mix crews work to make popular trail sustainable and safe.
About 3 miles for both the Creek trail and the Suicide Rock trail into The Reservoir.
Russell Westbrook (left), Kevin Durant and the Thunder trailed the Spurs 2-0 in the Western Conference finals and now trail the Heat 3-1 in the NBA Finals.
Trail mix Along the Colorado Trail.
Trail Riding RATE IT B. Off-Trail Riding RATE IT B. Hi-Performance Engineering, Inc.
The trail is being restored and enhanced by the Blue Mountain Singletrack Trails Club.
Actually, it was my first trail RACE and pretty much my first trail RUN.
Hittin' the Trails 4 You: The Romero Ruin Trail.
Running Ann's Trail, Bonneville Shoreline Trail and Clark's Trail.
Alabama's Chief Ladiga Trail has been called "a rail trail on MLB-caliber steroids" and "one of the season's best weekend trips" by the April/May issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine.
This forgotten steep trail is called the Sierra Point Trail located above Happy Isles on the southwest slope of Grizzly Peak and is the steepest trail in Yosemite Valley.
That's the invitation on a bench along the Lehigh Gorge Trail-at a half-mile marker above the Glen Onoko trail head.
A new trail system, inspired by and named after one of Lake Placid's greatest benefactors, beckons to skiers , trail runners, mountain bikers and all lovers of the outdoors.

In science:

The single radio pulse is seen to trail the X-ray maximum by ∼ 0.2 in phase.
On the polar caps of the 3 Musketeers
These are simply reflections of each other, and we omit the leading (or trailing) zero from the sequence.
The length of closed geodesics on random Riemann Surfaces
Since the average number of trails on a fixed path of length n starting from (o, 0) is λn , the average number of all the trails on any path from (o, 0) is Pn λnT n o .
Weak survival for branching random walks on graphs
Hence the expected number of trails along paths starting from x and reaching y for the first time is equal to F (x, y |λ).
Weak survival for branching random walks on graphs
If x is equal to y we call them first generation trails in x.
Weak survival for branching random walks on graphs