to drag or let drag along the ground or other surface; draw or drag along behind.
to bring or have floating after itself or oneself: a racing car trailing clouds of dust.
to follow the track, trail, or scent of; track.
to follow along behind (another), as in a race.
to mark out, as a track.
to tread down or make a path through (grass or the like).
to draw out, as speech; protract.
Ceramics. to pour (slip) on a biscuit so as to produce a pattern.
to be drawn or dragged along the ground or some other surface, as when hanging from something moving: Her long bridal gown trailed across the floor.
to hang down loosely from something.
to stream from or float after something moving, as dust, smoke, and sparks do.
to follow as if drawn along.
to fish by trailing a line from a moving boat; troll.
to go slowly, lazily, or wearily along.
to pass or extend in a straggling line.
to change gradually or wander from a course, so as to become weak, ineffectual, etc. (usually followed by off or away): Her voice trailed off into silence.
to arrive or be last: He finally trailed in at 10 o'clock.
to be losing in a contest: The home team was trailing 20 to 15.
to creep or crawl, as a serpent.
to follow a track or scent, as of game.
(of a plant) to extend itself in growth along the ground rather than taking root or clinging by tendrils, etc.
a path or track made across a wild region, over rough country, or the like, by the passage of people or animals.
the track, scent, or the like, left by an animal, person, or thing, especially as followed by a hunter, hound, or other pursuer.
something that is trailed or that trails behind, as the train of a skirt or robe.
a stream of dust, smoke, light, people, vehicles, etc., behind something moving.
Artillery. the part of a gun carriage that rests on the ground when the piece is unlimbered.
Architecture. a running vine, leaf, or tendril ornament, as in a Gothic molding.
Idioms about trail
trail arms, Military.
to hold a rifle in the right hand at an oblique angle, with the muzzle forward and the butt a few inches off the ground.
a command to trail arms.
- trail·ing·ly, adverb
- trailless, adjective
- non·trail·ing, adjective
- un·trailed, adjective
- un·trail·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use trail in a sentence
Once Lazarus has successfully hacked a target and taken control of the money, the group attempts to cover up its trail to throw off investigators.North Korean hackers steal billions in cryptocurrency. How do they turn it into real cash? | Patrick O'Neill | September 10, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
Nearby, 1,000-acre Cambalache State Forest has eight miles of hiking trails.
Even though it didn’t necessarily take me a long time to do the trail, I still put my life in Portland on pause and set aside this time to do this.
Astronomers are now faced with the possibility that they might lose as much as two-thirds of their data to these satellite trails.Satellite mega-constellations risk ruining astronomy forever | Neel Patel | September 2, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
I was born on that mountain, and I’ve spent most of my 44 years riding these trails on my mountain bike and my dirt bike, trail-running, and exploring with my wife and daughters.
Recall how Clinton returned to Arkansas from the campaign trail to preside over the execution of a mentally disabled man.
To break her self-destructive cycle and heal, she decides to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest trail solo.Exclusive: The Making of Reese Witherspoon’s Golden Globe-Nominated ‘Wild’ | Marlow Stern | December 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Mothers pushed their children's heads down and they sped through town, leaving a trail of machine-gun shells in their wake.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis | Nina Strochlic | November 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
One seemed particularly promising, by a trail with a big pile of natural brush to furnish a screen.Knowing Where the Bodies Are Buried: An Excerpt From 'Lives in Ruins' | Marilyn Johnson | November 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Instead, that trail seems to lead to another Spinal Solutions contractor, Ryan Zavilenski.
No trail was so obtuse, no thicket so dense that members of that regiment would not track them to their lair.The Courier of the Ozarks | Byron A. Dunn
If it should ever be my lot to take the Long trail at short notice, I hope it will be under a blue sky and a blazing sun.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
When we got down into the bottom Mac turned aside to the deep-worn trail and glanced sharply down at the ruts.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
She had been walking alone with her arms hanging limp, letting her white skirts trail along the dewy path.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
By using his walking stick he discovered that they formed a trail to a point in the wall.The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol | William J. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for trail
to drag or stream, or permit to drag or stream along a surface, esp the ground: her skirt trailed; she trailed her skipping rope
to make (a track or path) through (a place): to trail a way; to trail a jungle
to chase, follow, or hunt (an animal or person) by following marks or tracks
(when intr, often foll by behind) to lag or linger behind (a person or thing)
(intr) (esp of plants) to extend or droop over or along a surface
(intr) to be falling behind in a race or competition: the favourite is trailing at the last fence
(tr) to tow (a boat, caravan, etc) behind a motor vehicle
(tr) to carry (a rifle) at the full length of the right arm in a horizontal position, with the muzzle to the fore
(intr) to move wearily or slowly: we trailed through the city
(tr) (on television or radio) to advertise (a future programme) with short extracts
trail one's coat to invite a quarrel by deliberately provocative behaviour
a print, mark, or marks made by a person, animal, or object
the act or an instance of trailing
the scent left by a moving person or animal that is followed by a hunting animal
a path, track, or road, esp one roughly blazed
something that trails behind or trails in loops or strands
the part of a towed gun carriage and limber that connects the two when in movement and rests on the ground as a partial support when unlimbered
engineering the distance between the point of contact of a steerable wheel and a line drawn from the swivel pin axis to the ground
(on television or radio) an advertisement for a future programme
- trail-less, adjective
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with trail
see blaze a trail.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.