Dictionary.com

tract

1
[ trakt ]
/ trækt /
Save This Word!

noun

an expanse or area of land, water, etc.; region; stretch.
Anatomy.
  1. a definite region or area of the body, especially a group, series, or system of related parts or organs: the digestive tract.
  2. a bundle of nerve fibers having a common origin and destination.
a stretch or period of time; interval; lapse.
Roman Catholic Church. an anthem consisting of verses of Scripture, sung after the gradual in the Mass from Septuagesima until the day before Easter and on certain other occasions, taking the place of the alleluias and the verse that ordinarily accompany the gradual.
Ornithology. a pteryla.

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Origin of tract

1
First recorded in 1350–1400; (in senses referring to extent of space) from Latin tractus “stretch (of space or time), a drawing out,” equivalent to trac-, variant stem of trahere “to draw” + -tus suffix of verbal action; def. 4 is from Medieval Latin tractus, apparently identical with the above, though literal sense unexplained

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH tract

track, tract

Definition for tract (2 of 2)

tract2
[ trakt ]
/ trækt /

noun

a brief treatise or pamphlet for general distribution, usually on a religious or political topic.

Origin of tract

2
1400–50; late Middle English tracte, apparently shortening of Medieval Latin tractātustractate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for tract

British Dictionary definitions for tract (1 of 3)

tract1
/ (trækt) /

noun

an extended area, as of land
anatomy a system of organs, glands, or other tissues that has a particular functionthe digestive tract
a bundle of nerve fibres having the same function, origin, and terminationthe optic tract
archaic an extended period of time

Word Origin for tract

C15: from Latin tractus a stretching out, from trahere to drag

British Dictionary definitions for tract (2 of 3)

tract2
/ (trækt) /

noun

a treatise or pamphlet, esp a religious or moralistic one

Word Origin for tract

C15: from Latin tractātus tractate

British Dictionary definitions for tract (3 of 3)

tract3
/ (trækt) /

noun

RC Church an anthem in some Masses

Word Origin for tract

C14: from Medieval Latin tractus cantus extended song; see tract 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for tract

tract
[ trăkt ]

n.

An elongated assembly of tissue or organs having a common origin, function, and termination, or a serial arrangement having a common function.
A bundle of nerve fibers having a common origin, termination, and function.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for tract

tract
[ trăkt ]

A series of body organs that work together to perform a specialized function, such as digestion.
A bundle of nerve fibers, especially in the central nervous system, that begin and end in the same place and share a common function.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Book Your Online Tutor Now