World English Dictionary
trail (treɪl)
vb (when intr, often foll by behind)
1.  to drag or stream, or permit to drag or stream along a surface, esp the ground: her skirt trailed; she trailed her skipping rope
2.  to make (a track or path) through (a place): to trail a way; to trail a jungle
3.  to chase, follow, or hunt (an animal or person) by following marks or tracks
4.  to lag or linger behind (a person or thing)
5.  (intr) (esp of plants) to extend or droop over or along a surface
6.  (intr) to be falling behind in a race or competition: the favourite is trailing at the last fence
7.  (tr) to tow (a boat, caravan, etc) behind a motor vehicle
8.  (tr) to carry (a rifle) at the full length of the right arm in a horizontal position, with the muzzle to the fore
9.  (intr) to move wearily or slowly: we trailed through the city
10.  (tr) (on television or radio) to advertise (a future programme) with short extracts
11.  trail one's coat to invite a quarrel by deliberately provocative behaviour
12.  a print, mark, or marks made by a person, animal, or object
13.  the act or an instance of trailing
14.  the scent left by a moving person or animal that is followed by a hunting animal
15.  a path, track, or road, esp one roughly blazed
16.  something that trails behind or trails in loops or strands
17.  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
18.  engineering the distance between the point of contact of a steerable wheel and a line drawn from the swivel pin axis to the ground
19.  (on television or radio) an advertisement for a future programme
[C14: from Old French trailler to draw, tow, from Vulgar Latin tragulāre (unattested), from Latin trāgula dragnet, from trahere to drag; compare Middle Dutch traghelen to drag]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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