- 1A mark or a series of signs or objects left behind by the passage of someone or something: a trail of blood on the grass the torrential rain left a trail of devastationMore example sentences
- The place where the terrorists executed the men on the first day is still marked by trails of dry blood.
- Seth grew absolutely still as she stomped off, blood marking her trail in tiny drops.
- On the doorknob was a bloody hand print, there was also a trail of drag marks lagging behind it.
- 1.1A track, scent, or other indication used in following someone or hunting an animal: police followed his trail to DorsetMore example sentences
- In a drag hunt, a field master leads a team on horseback, guided by foxhounds on the trail of an animal scent.
- Alexander does it on foot, following meandering game trails and tracking the animals.
- They were always scavenging for the latest hint of gossip as if they were ravenous animals on the trail of a wounded deer.
- 2A long thin part or line stretching behind or hanging down from something: smoke trails we drove down in a trail of tourist carsMore example sentences
- As the fires and pumps began to burn off the remaining water within him, a thin trail of smoke exited his nostrils.
- And he was sure that he was just starting to see the thin trails of smoke from his community's cook-fires.
- The cigarette dangled from the corner of her red-smudged lips, its burnt and ashy tip sending up thin trails of smoke into the already stuffy air.
- 3A beaten path through the countryside: country parks with nature trails easy waymarked trails for the casual walkerMore example sentences
- This may be enough for some, but if you wish to capture hidden aspects of the place you will be visiting you might want to get off the beaten trail.
- There was no road here, only a trail of beaten earth, and his horse's hooves fell with a dull, muffled sound.
- The cross-country ski trails are just that - with virtually no warming lodges, ski lessons, or rental equipment.
- 3.1A route followed for a particular purpose: the hotel is well off the tourist trailMore example sentences
- With him will be the Vietnam veterans, the rock stars and the celebrities who have followed the campaign trail for months.
- Even when unashamedly following the tourist trail, though, it is often better to take the more adventurous options.
- He followed him on the campaign trail earlier this year also.
- 3.2 (also ski trail) North American A downhill ski run or cross-country ski route: this steep trail is as firm as off-piste spring snowMore example sentences
- Getting out onto a well-lit ski trail is one of the most pleasurable additions to cross-country skiing in recent years.
- It doubles as a cross-country ski trail in the winter.
- Less far-reaching but no less grand, in 1982 two men with a love of Nordic skiing and a good bottle of wine hit upon the self-evident truth that Vermont needed a state-wide ski trail.
- 4A trailer for a film or broadcast: a recent television trail for ‘The Bill’More example sentences
- It will feature on-air trails on television and radio and, for the first time, an off-air poster campaign.
- Strikingly, the television trails feature no voices and the thoughts of individuals reacting to scenes around them are represented by words on screen.
- The campaign will also appear - in Arabic and English - on major and specialised online sites, and on Arabic radio trails across the Arab world.
verbBack to top
- 1 [with adverbial] Draw or be drawn along behind someone or something: [with object]: Alex trailed a hand through the clear water [no object]: her robe trailed along the groundMore example sentences
- Obviously harassed, the young woman walked off, the man still talking in the same vein, trailing along behind her.
- I sighed as Pitcher waddled along, trailing slightly behind the others sometimes rushing to catch them up.
- Alternately, it doesn't hurt to find someone smoking tea-leaves and trail along behind them.
- 1.1 [no object] (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 banksMore example sentences
- I sailed on towards Wellington Harbour 70 miles away, saved only by the branches of a willow tree trailing mercifully within arm's reach.
- Supported plants are also easier to protect from pests than plants trailing on the ground.
- Vines trailing overhead and pot plants against the whitewashed walls add a Mediterranean feel.
- 2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Walk or move slowly or wearily: he baulked at the idea of trailing around the shopsMore example sentences
- Donnie promptly looked at Steven, and then began moving up the stairs with Steven trailing wearily behind.
- He rose to his feet, slowly trailing behind the stern headmaster.
- Kevin said goodbye to Samantha and walked off trailing behind Martin.
- 2.1(Of the voice or a speaker) fade gradually before stopping: her voice trailed awayMore example sentences
- He felt the magic start to fade and the voices trailed off.
- Her voice trailed off as she disappeared around the corner, headed for the children's bedrooms.
- ‘My God, it could happen to any of us,’ and her voice trailed off.
- 3 [with object] Follow (a person or animal) by using marks or scent left behind: Sam suspected they were trailing himMore example sentences
- Basically day-time hunters, their prey is trailed by scent and pursued at sight with no violent outburst of speed, but in a steady tireless canter, which finally outruns the quarry.
- In the end she had no choice but have them follow her because they trailed her.
- Kate was drawn magnetically to follow, and trailed him through the door into the dark hallway.
- 4 [no object] Be losing to an opponent in a game or contest: [with complement]: the defending champions were trailing 10—5 at half-timeMore example sentences
- But it shouldn't mask the fact that when he was on a football pitch he was the supremo, the quick-footed star of the game who had tricks and skills to burn and opponents trailing in his slipstream.
- They have been beatable in every game, trailing in the fourth quarter at home against Golden State and Washington.
- It came down to the end of the game and we were trailing by one point.
- 5 [with object] Give advance publicity to (a film, broadcast, or proposal): the bank’s plans have been extensively trailedMore example sentences
- For some strange reason the film was originally trailed as a sort of ‘teen slasher flick’ on US TV.
- The programme had been trailed on screen for many weeks beforehand, leading many newspaper critics to accuse the broadcaster of ‘hype’.
- Their six months of filming was distilled into a one hour programme trailed as ‘a damning catalogue of inefficiency, neglect and substandard treatment.’
at the trail
- Military Let a rifle hang balanced in one hand and (in Britain) parallel to the ground.More example sentences
- When the order is given to trail arms, from the secure, it is done on that side, and with that hand which holds the rifle.
- Whenever entering into the tunnel recruit units had to trail arms and sing ‘Anchors Aweigh’.
- At twenty yards' distance the soldiers will be ordered to trail arms, advance with shouts, fire at five paces' distance, and charge bayonets.
trail one's coat
- Deliberately provoke a quarrel or fight.More example sentences
- She also trailed her coat in relation to an entirely new point in respect of which she wished to reserve her position, but which she did not argue before me.
- We asked teachers all over the UK for their views and trailed our coats at innumerable meetings.
- Not only has he chanced his hand, but he has sometimes trailed his coat.
Middle English (as a verb): from Old French traillier 'to tow', or Middle Low German treilen 'haul a boat', based on Latin tragula 'dragnet', from trahere 'to pull'. Compare with trawl. The noun originally denoted the train of a robe, later generalized to denote something trailing.