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Track vs. Tract: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A "track" refers to a designated path for racing or travel, whereas a "tract" can mean an expanse of land or a written pamphlet meant for widespread distribution.
Track vs. Tract

Key Differences

Track and Tract both originate from Latin but have diverged in meaning. The word Track refers to a path or route that is followed, whether for sports, transportation, or metaphorical progression. It is often used to describe the course for racing, a path that animals or people follow, or the progression of an event or process. In contrast, Tract refers to an expanse of land or property, highlighting its usage in real estate and geography. Additionally, Tract is used to describe a short pamphlet usually containing political, religious, or informational material. Although both words share similar letters, their applications in language are distinct.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
Track implies motion or following a path, which can be literal as on a racetrack or figurative as in following the track of a story. Conversely, Tract is static, defining a piece of land or the written content of a pamphlet, not suggesting any movement. When talking about Track, one might imagine athletes running a circuit or a train following its rails, whereas Tract conjures images of vast farmlands or handed-out leaflets. The connotations of Track are often linked with guidance, pursuit, and direction, while Tract is associated with measurement, area, and dissemination of ideas.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
The application of Track in various contexts can signify a narrow, beaten path, a recorded piece of music, or even the course of one’s life. In contrast, Tract is specific to the extent of a physical space or the extent of written work, with no implication of a journey. When one tracks progress, they are monitoring development over time, but when they refer to a tract, they indicate boundaries and content. This dichotomy highlights how Track is dynamic, involving action and duration, while Tract is about space, substance, and distribution.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
While both Track and Tract can represent a continuous extent, Track is temporal and kinetic, like the tracks of a migrating animal, whereas Tract is spatial and static, such as a housing tract. Track involves a line or progression, as in tracking a trend, but Tract involves an expanse, as in a digestive tract. Thus, although they share a lineage, their contemporary usages are almost entirely separate, each evoking a different aspect of space and movement.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
In conclusion, Track often relates to movement, progression, or a followable route, while Tract pertains to areas of land or written material. Whether you’re following a track through the woods or reading a tract on philosophy, you’re engaging with a concept that's clearly defined by its context. Understanding these differences is crucial for their correct application in language, ensuring clarity and precision in communication.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A path or course
An area of land or a pamphlet
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Context

Sports, music, or progress
Real estate, anatomy, or literature
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Connotation

Movement, direction, progression
Space, area, written material
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Nov 25, 2023

Usage in a Sentence

We followed the animal's tracks in the snow
We purchased a 40-acre tract of farmland
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Grammatical Category

Mostly used as a noun and verb
Primarily used as a noun
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Track and Tract Definitions

Track

A single song or piece of music on an album.
That album's title track is the most popular.
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Tract

A system or series of connected body organs.
The gastrointestinal tract is crucial for digestion.
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Track

A mark or succession of marks left by something that has passed.
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Oct 19, 2023

Tract

An indefinite expanse.
Vast tracts of desert stretched before them.
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Nov 08, 2023

Track

A path, route, or course indicated by such marks
An old wagon track through the mountains.
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Tract

A continuous extent of something, like time or text.
The first tract of her thesis was dedicated to historical context.
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Nov 08, 2023

Track

A path along which something moves; a course
Following the track of an airplane on radar.
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Tract

An expanse of land or water.
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Track

A course of action; a method of proceeding
On the right track for solving the puzzle.
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Tract

A specified or limited area of land
Developing a 30-acre tract.
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Track

An intended or proper course
Putting a stalled project back on track.
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Tract

A system of organs and tissues that together perform a specialized function
The alimentary tract.
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Track

A succession of ideas; a train of thought.
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Tract

A bundle of nerve fibers having a common origin, termination, and function.
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Track

Awareness of something occurring or passing
Keeping track of the score.
Lost all track of time.
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Tract

(Archaic) A stretch or lapse of time.
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Track

A course laid out for running or racing.
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Tract

A leaflet or pamphlet containing a declaration or appeal, especially one put out by a religious or political group.
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Track

Athletic competition on such a course; track events.
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Tract

The verses from Scripture sung after the gradual in the Roman Catholic Mass during penitential seasons such as Lent or as part of a Requiem.
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Track

Track and field.
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Tract

An area or expanse.
An unexplored tract of sea
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Track

A rail or set of parallel rails upon which railroad cars or other vehicles run.
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Tract

(anatomy) A series of connected body organs, such as the digestive tract.
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Track

Tracks The boundary, formerly often delineated by train tracks, that separates two neighborhoods of different social class
Grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.
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Tract

A small booklet such as a pamphlet, often for promotional or informational uses.
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Track

Either of the continuous metal belts with which vehicles such as bulldozers and tanks move over the ground.
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Tract

A brief treatise or discourse on a subject.
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Track

A metal groove or ridge that holds, guides, and reduces friction for a moving device or apparatus.
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Tract

A commentator's view or perspective on a subject.
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Track

Any of several courses of study to which students are assigned according to ability, achievement, or needs
Academic, vocational, and general tracks.
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Tract

Continued or protracted duration, length, extent
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Track

A distinct path, as along a length of film or magnetic tape, on which sound, images, or other information is recorded.
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Tract

(Roman Catholicism) Part of the proper of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations, used instead of the alleluia during Lenten or pre-Lenten seasons, in a Requiem Mass, and on a few other penitential occasions.
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Track

A distinct selection from an audio or video recording, usually containing an individual work or part of a larger work
The title track of an album.
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Tract

(obsolete) Continuity or extension of anything.
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Track

One of two or more separate recordings that are combined so as to be replayed simultaneously, as in stereophonic sound reproduction
Mixed the vocal track and instrumental track.
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Tract

(obsolete) Traits; features; lineaments.
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Track

One of the concentric magnetic rings that form the separate data storage areas on a floppy disk or a hard disk.
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Tract

(obsolete) The footprint of a wild animal.
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Track

A set of digital data encoded consecutively on an optical disc.
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Tract

(obsolete) Track; trace.
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Track

Tracks(Slang) Needle marks on the skin from multiple intravenous injections, considered an indication of habitual drug use.
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Tract

(obsolete) Treatment; exposition.
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Track

To follow the tracks of; trail
Tracking game through the forest.
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Tract

(obsolete) To pursue, follow; to track.
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Track

To leave marks made of (dirt or mud, for example) on a surface
The dog tracked mud on the rug.
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Tract

(obsolete) To draw out; to protract.
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Track

To leave marks on (a floor, for example) when moving or traversing
You're tracking up my nice clean floor!.
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Tract

A written discourse or dissertation, generally of short extent; a short treatise, especially on practical religion.
The church clergy at that time writ the best collection of tracts against popery that ever appeared.
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Track

To observe or monitor the course of (an aircraft, for example), as by radar.
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Tract

Something drawn out or extended; expanse.
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Track

To observe the progress of; follow
Tracking the company's performance daily.
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Tract

A region or quantity of land or water, of indefinite extent; an area; as, an unexplored tract of sea.
A very high mountain joined to the mainland by a narrow tract of earth.
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Track

To determine or discover the location or origin of
Tracked the money to an offshore account.
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Tract

Traits; features; lineaments.
The discovery of a man's self by the tracts of his countenance is a great weakness.
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Track

To equip with a track.
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Tract

The footprint of a wild beast.
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Track

To assign (a student) to a curricular track.
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Tract

Track; trace.
Efface all tract of its traduction.
But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forthon,Leaving no tract behind.
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Track

To follow a course; travel
The storm is tracking up the coast.
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Tract

Treatment; exposition.
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Track

To keep a constant distance apart. Used of a pair of wheels.
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Tract

Continuity or extension of anything; as, the tract of speech.
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Track

To be in alignment
The gears are not tracking properly.
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Tract

Continued or protracted duration; length; extent.
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Track

To follow the undulations in the groove of a phonograph record. Used of a needle.
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Tract

Verses of Scripture sung at Mass, instead of the Alleluia, from Septuagesima Sunday till the Saturday befor Easter; - so called because sung tractim, or without a break, by one voice, instead of by many as in the antiphons.
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Track

To move across magnetic heads. Used of magnetic tape.
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Tract

To trace out; to track; also, to draw out; to protact.
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Track

To move in relation to a subject being filmed. Used of a camera or camera crew.
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Tract

An extended area of land
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Track

A mark left by something that has passed along.
Follow the track of the ship.
Can you see any tracks in the snow?
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Oct 19, 2023

Tract

A system of body parts that together serve some particular purpose
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Track

A mark or impression left by the foot, either of man or animal.
The fox tracks were still visible in the snow.
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Tract

A brief treatise on a subject of interest; published in the form of a booklet
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Track

The entire lower surface of the foot; said of birds, etc.
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Tract

A bundle of mylenated nerve fibers following a path through the brain
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Track

A road or other similar beaten path.
Follow the track for a hundred metres.
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Oct 19, 2023

Tract

A large area of land.
They owned a tract of forested land in the mountains.
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Track

Physical course; way.
Astronomers predicted the track of the comet.
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Oct 19, 2023

Tract

A short written work on a religious or political topic.
He handed out tracts at the street corner.
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Track

A path or course laid out for a race, for exercise, etc.
The athletes ran round the track.
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Track

The direction and progress of someone or something; path.
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Track

(railways) The way or rails along which a train moves. Category:en:Rail transportation
They briefly closed the railway to remove debris found on the track.
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Oct 19, 2023

Track

A tract or area, such as of land.
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Track

(slang) The street, as a prostitute's place of work.
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Track

Awareness of something, especially when arising from close monitoring.
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Track

(automotive) The distance between two opposite wheels on a same axletree.
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Track

(automotive) caterpillar track
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Track

(cricket) The pitch.
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Track

Sound stored on a record.
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Track

The physical track on a record.
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Track

(music) A song or other relatively short piece of music, on a record, separated from others by a short silence.
My favourite track on the album is "Sunshine".
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Track

A circular (never-ending) data storage unit on a side of magnetic or optical disk, divided into sectors.
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Track

The racing events of track and field; track and field in general.
I'm going to try out for track next week.
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Track

A themed set of talks within a conference.
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Track

Clipping of trackshoe
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Track

To continue over time.
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Track

(transitive) To observe the (measured) state of a person or object over time.
We will track the raven population over the next six months.
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Track

(transitive) To monitor the movement of a person or object.
Agent Miles has been tracking the terrorist since Madrid.
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Track

(transitive) To match the movement or change of a person or object.
My height tracks my father's at my age, so I might end up as tall as him.
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Track

To travel so that a moving object remains in shot.
The camera tracked the ball even as the field of play moved back and forth, keeping the action in shot the entire time.
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Track

To move.
The hurricane tracked further west than expected.
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Track

(transitive) To traverse; to move across.
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Track

(transitive) To tow.
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Track

(intransitive) To exhibit good cognitive function.
Is the patient tracking? Does he know where he is?
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Track

(transitive) To follow the tracks of.
My uncle spent all day tracking the deer, whose hoofprints were clear in the mud.
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Track

(transitive) To discover the location of a person or object by following traces.
I tracked Joe to his friend's bedroom, where he had spent the night.
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Track

(transitive) To make tracks on or to leave in the form of tracks.
In winter, my cat tracks mud all over the house.
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Track

To create a musical recording (a track).
Lil Kyle is gonna track with that DJ next week.
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Track

To create music using tracker software.
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Track

To make sense; to be consistent with known information
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Track

A mark left by something that has passed along; as, the track, or wake, of a ship; the track of a meteor; the track of a sled or a wheel.
The bright track of his fiery car.
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Track

A mark or impression left by the foot, either of man or beast; trace; vestige; footprint.
Far from track of men.
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Track

The entire lower surface of the foot; - said of birds, etc.
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Track

A road; a beaten path.
Behold Torquatus the same track pursue.
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Track

Course; way; as, the track of a comet.
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Track

A path or course laid out for a race, for exercise, etc.
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Track

The permanent way; the rails.
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Track

A tract or area, as of land.
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Track

To follow the tracks or traces of; to pursue by following the marks of the feet; to trace; to trail; as, to track a deer in the snow.
It was often found impossible to track the robbers to their retreats among the hills and morasses.
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Track

To draw along continuously, as a vessel, by a line, men or animals on shore being the motive power; to tow.
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Track

A line or route along which something travels or moves;
The hurricane demolished houses in its path
The track of an animal
The course of the river
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Track

Evidence pointing to a possible solution;
The police are following a promising lead
The trail led straight to the perpetrator
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Track

A pair of parallel rails providing a runway for wheels
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Track

A course over which races are run
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Track

A distinct selection of music from a recording or a compact disc;
He played the first cut on the cd
The title track of the album
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Track

An endless metal belt on which tracked vehicles move over the ground
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Track

(computer science) one of the circular magnetic paths on a magnetic disk that serve as a guide for writing and reading data
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Track

A groove on a phonograph recording
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Track

A bar or bars of rolled steel making a track along which vehicles can roll
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Track

Any road or path affording passage especially a rough one
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Track

The act of participating in an athletic competition involving running on a track
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Track

Carry on the feet and deposit;
Track mud into the house
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Track

Observe or plot the moving path of something;
Track a missile
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Track

Go after with the intent to catch;
The policeman chased the mugger down the alley
The dog chased the rabbit
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Track

Travel across or pass over;
The caravan covered almost 100 miles each day
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Track

Make tracks upon
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Track

A marked route for traveling or movement.
The deer left a clear track through the forest.
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Track

A circuit designed for racing.
The racehorse thundered down the track.
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Track

The path along which something moves.
The hurricane's track shifted overnight.
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Track

To observe or follow the course of something.
The scientist tracked the migration patterns of birds.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is a tract of land?

A tract of land is a large, continuous area of property.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Are track and tract interchangeable?

No, they have different meanings and cannot be used interchangeably.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

How do you use tract in a sentence?

"He distributed religious tracts in the neighborhood."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

What does it mean to keep track?

To keep track means to remain aware or to monitor.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can the word track refer to music?

Yes, it can refer to an individual song on an album.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

What is a track?

A track is a path, course, or line of movement or travel.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

What is the difference between a track meet and a tract meet?

A track meet is an event for track and field competitions; a tract meet is a nonsensical term as tracts are not associated with meetings.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

What does losing track mean?

Losing track means failing to keep informed or to follow progress.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can track be used as a verb?

Yes, to track means to follow or monitor the course of something.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

What does tract mean in anatomy?

In anatomy, a tract refers to a system of organs or tissues with a specific function.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

How do you use track in a sentence?

"She set a new record on the running track."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Does track have a plural form?

Yes, the plural form is tracks.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is tract ever used in a metaphorical sense?

Rarely, but it can imply a stretch or expanse of something intangible.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Are there any common phrases using the word tract?

Not as many, but "tract housing" is a term used in real estate.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is a housing tract related to the word track?

No, a housing tract is related to the word tract, indicating a large area of developed land.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Are there any common phrases using the word track?

Yes, phrases like "on the right track" or "off track."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

What type of pamphlet is referred to as a tract?

A tract is typically a short pamphlet with religious or political content.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

What does it mean to make tracks?

It means to leave or depart quickly.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can tract be a verb?

No, tract is not commonly used as a verb.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Does tract have a plural form?

Yes, the plural form is tracts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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