Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


He knew that she had writing talent and a flair for tracking down a story.

"I fancy my son isn't going into the business of tracking down criminals permanently," Burton, Senior, retorted a bit stiffly.

The mistakes that have been made by the police in tracking down those suspected of some breach of the law!

He scarcely realized that this tracking down of Garret might lead to revelations which would be damaging to himself.

They bustled out, arguing over the best methods of tracking down their victims, who cowered miserably above them.

I was running around a bit, and he was tracking down a lost tribe or something of the sort.

Moreover, tracking down a thief cannot be of any interest to us of larger effort.

His peculiar gift, like that of the bloodhound, is to aid in tracking down the quarry.

Billy had spent the week tracking down the two bad characters who had served as witnesses to a false agreement.

No normal method of tracking down the PRS members, or finding their present whereabouts, was going to work.


late 15c., "footprint, mark left by anything," from Old French trac "track of horses, trace" (mid-15c.), possibly from a Germanic source (cf. Middle Low German treck, Dutch trek "drawing, pulling;" see trek). Meaning "lines of rails for drawing trains" is from 1805. Meaning "branch of athletics involving a running track" is recorded from 1905. Meaning "single recorded item" is from 1904, originally in reference to phonograph records. Meaning "mark on skin from repeated drug injection" is first attested 1964.

Track record (1955) is a figurative use from racing, "performance history" of an individual car, runner, horse, etc.(1907, but the phrase was more common in sense "fastest speed recorded at a particular track"). To make tracks "move quickly" is American English colloquial first recorded 1835; to cover (one's) tracks in the figurative sense first attested 1898; to keep track of something is attested from 1883. American English wrong side of the tracks "bad part of town" is by 1901. Track lighting attested from 1970.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.