trail

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trail / trāl/ • n. 1. a mark or a series of signs or objects left behind by the passage of someone or something: a trail of blood on the grass. ∎  a track or scent used in following someone or hunting an animal: police followed his trail to Atlantic City. ∎  a part, typically long and thin, stretching behind or hanging down from someone or something: smoke trails trails of ivy. ∎  a line of people of things following behind each other: a trail of ants. 2. a beaten path through rough country such as a forest or moor. ∎  a route planned or followed for a particular purpose: a Democratic candidate on the campaign trail. ∎  (also ski trail) a downhill ski run or cross-country ski route. 3. short for trailer (sense 2). 4. the rear end of a gun carriage, resting or sliding on the ground when the gun is unlimbered. • v. 1. draw or be drawn along the ground or other surface behind someone or something: [tr.] Alex trailed a hand through the clear water | [intr.] her robe trailed along the ground. ∎  [intr.] (typically of a plant) grow or hang over the edge of something or along the ground: the roses grew wild, their stems trailing over the banks. ∎  [tr.] follow (a person or animal), typically by using marks, signs, or scent left behind. ∎  [intr.] be losing to an opponent in a game or contest: the Packers were trailing 10–6 at halftime. 2. [intr.] walk or move slowly or wearily: she trailed behind, whimpering at intervals. ∎  (of the voice or a speaker) fade gradually before stopping: her voice trailed away. 3. [tr.] advertise (something, esp. a film or program) in advance by broadcasting extracts or details. 4. [tr.] apply (slip) through a nozzle or spout to decorate ceramic ware.

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trail, trayle. Continuous horizontal running enrichment of vine-leaves, tendrils, stalks, and grapes, called also grapevine, vignette, vine-scroll, or vinette, often found enriching Perpendicular canopies and screens, e.g. in funerary architecture and chancel-screens. Several spectacular examples survive in Devon churches. The form was essentially late Gothic, and recurs throughout Europe.

Bibliography

F. Bond (1908a);
B&C (1909)

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trail
1. An anterior extension of some brachiopod (Brachiopoda) shells, usually at a large angle to the general plane of the posterior part of the shell.

2. A biogenic sedimentary structure formed by the movement of snails, clams, or perhaps snakes over the sediment surface, and classified with tracks under the Scoyenia assemblage of trace fossils.

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trailail, ale, assail, avail, bail, bale, bewail, brail, Braille, chain mail, countervail, curtail, dale, downscale, drail, dwale, entail, exhale, fail, faille, flail, frail, Gael, Gail, gale, Grail, grisaille, hail, hale, impale, jail, kale, mail, male, nail, nonpareil, outsail, pail, pale, quail, rail, sail, sale, sangrail, scale, shale, snail, stale, swale, tail, tale, they'll, trail, upscale, vail, vale, veil, wail, wale, whale, Yale •Passchendaele • Airedale •Wensleydale • Clydesdale •Chippendale • Coverdale • Abigail •galingale • martingale • nightingale •farthingale • Windscale • timescale •blackmail • airmail •email, female •Ishmael • voicemail • vermeil

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Trail

a train; a trailing mass of plants or ornament; a line of persons or things following behind something; a wreath or spray of flowers or leaves.

Examples : trail of bears foot, myrtles green, and ivy pale, 1697; of tangled eglantine, 1861; of foliage, 1869; of golden hair, 1844; of ivy leaves, 1423; of roses, 1454; hurrying trails of black clouds, 1872; of light, 1697; of lightning, 1770; long trails of chanting priests, 1856.

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trail Trail of Tears the forced removal, in 1838–9, of the Cherokee people from their homeland and sent on a march from Georgia to Oklahoma; many died on the journey.
trail one's coat deliberately provoke a quarrel or fight; the idea is of making it likely that someone will step on the trailing coat, providing reason for a quarrel.

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trail intr. hang down and drag along; trans. drag or draw along. XIV. prob. of mixed orig. — OF. traillier or MLG., MFlem. treilen haul (a boat), which point to Rom. or popL. *tragulāre (to which OE. trægelian ‘carpere’ conforms), f. L. trāgula drag-net, etc.