v. trailed, trail·ing, trails

1. To allow to drag or stream behind, as along the ground: The dog ran off, trailing its leash.

2. To drag (the body, for example) wearily or heavily.


a. To follow the traces or scent of, as in hunting; track.

b. To follow the course taken by; pursue: trail a fugitive.

4. To follow behind: several cruisers trailed by an escorting destroyer.

5. To lag behind (an opponent): trailed the league leader by four games.


1. To drag or be dragged along, brushing the ground: The queens long robe trailed behind.

2. To extend, grow, or droop loosely over a surface: vines trailing through the garden.

3. To drift in a thin stream: smoke trailing from a dying fire.

4. To become gradually fainter; dwindle: His voice trailed off in confusion.

5. To walk or proceed with dragging steps; trudge: trailed along in glum silence.

6. To be behind in competition; lag: trailing by two goals in the second period.



a. A marked or beaten path, as through woods or wilderness.

b. An overland route: the pioneers trail across the prairies.

c. A marked course through one or more bodies of water, as for recreational boaters or divers.


a. A mark, trace, course, or path left by a moving body.

b. The scent of a person or animal: The dogs lost the trail of the fox.

3. Something that is drawn along or follows behind; a train: The mayor was followed by a trail of reporters.

4. A succession of things that come afterward or are left behind: left a trail of broken promises.

5. Something that hangs loose and long: Trails of ticker tape floated down from office windows.

6. The part of a gun carriage that rests or slides on the ground.

7. The act of trailing.

[Middle English trailen, probably from Old French trailler, to hunt without a foreknown course, from Vulgar Latin *trāgulāre, to make a deer double back and forth, perhaps alteration (influenced by Latin trāgula, dragnet) of Latin trahere, to pull, draw.]

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




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. (Hunting) to chase, follow, or hunt (an animal or person) by following marks or tracks

4. (when: intr, often foll by behind) to lag or linger behind (a person or thing)

5. (Botany) (intr) (esp of plants) to extend or droop over or along a surface

6. (General Sporting Terms) (intr) to be falling behind in a race or competition: the favourite is trailing at the last fence.

7. (Automotive Engineering) (tr) to tow (a boat, caravan, etc) behind a motor vehicle

8. (Military) (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. (Broadcasting) (tr) (on television or radio) to advertise (a future programme) with short extracts

11. trail ones 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. (Hunting) 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. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) 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. (General Engineering) 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. (Broadcasting) (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]

ˈtrail-less adj

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014




1. to drag or let drag along the ground or other surface; draw or drag along behind.

2. to bring or have floating after itself or oneself: a racing car trailing clouds of dust.

3. to follow the track, trail, or scent of; track.

4. to follow along behind (another), as in a race.


5. to be drawn or dragged along the ground or some other surface: The bridal gown trailed across the floor.

6. to hang down loosely from something.

7. to stream from or float after something moving, as dust, smoke, and sparks do.

8. to follow as if drawn along.

9. to go slowly, lazily, or wearily along.

10. to pass or extend in a straggling line.

11. to change gradually or wander from a course, so as to become weak, ineffectual, etc. (usu. fol. by off or away): Her voice trailed off into silence.

12. to arrive or be last.

13. to be losing in a contest.

14. to follow a track or scent, as of game.

15. (of a plant) to extend itself in growth along the ground rather than taking root or clinging by tendrils, etc.


16. a path or track made in overgrown or rough terrain by the passage of people or animals.

17. the track, scent, or the like, left by an animal, person, or thing.

18. something that is trailed or that trails behind, as the train of a skirt or robe.

19. a stream of dust, smoke, light, people, vehicles, etc., behind something moving.

20. either of two rearward-facing parts of an artillery piece, spread out on the ground for support when the piece is fired.

[1275–1325; Middle English: to draw or drag in the rear; compare Old English træglian to tear off, c. Middle Dutch traghelen to drag]

trail′ing•ly, adv.

Random House Kernerman Websters College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. A term applied to the manner in which a bomb trails behind the aircraft from which it has been released, assuming the aircraft does not change its velocity after the release of the bomb. (DOD)
2. Track (or shadow). (The words landward or seaward may be used to indicate from which side of enemy unit to shadow.)

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.


 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 bear’s 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.

Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle: trailed
Gerund: trailing
I trail
you trail
he/she/it trails
we trail
you trail
they trail
I trailed
you trailed
he/she/it trailed
we trailed
you trailed
they trailed
Present Continuous
I am trailing
you are trailing
he/she/it is trailing
we are trailing
you are trailing
they are trailing
Present Perfect
I have trailed
you have trailed
he/she/it has trailed
we have trailed
you have trailed
they have trailed
Past Continuous
I was trailing
you were trailing
he/she/it was trailing
we were trailing
you were trailing
they were trailing
Past Perfect
I had trailed
you had trailed
he/she/it had trailed
we had trailed
you had trailed
they had trailed
I will trail
you will trail
he/she/it will trail
we will trail
you will trail
they will trail
Future Perfect
I will have trailed
you will have trailed
he/she/it will have trailed
we will have trailed
you will have trailed
they will have trailed
Future Continuous
I will be trailing
you will be trailing
he/she/it will be trailing
we will be trailing
you will be trailing
they will be trailing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been trailing
you have been trailing
he/she/it has been trailing
we have been trailing
you have been trailing
they have been trailing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been trailing
you will have been trailing
he/she/it will have been trailing
we will have been trailing
you will have been trailing
they will have been trailing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been trailing
you had been trailing
he/she/it had been trailing
we had been trailing
you had been trailing
they had been trailing
I would trail
you would trail
he/she/it would trail
we would trail
you would trail
they would trail
Past Conditional
I would have trailed
you would have trailed
he/she/it would have trailed
we would have trailed
you would have trailed
they would have trailed

Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:

Noun1.trailtrail - a track or mark left by something that has passed; there as a trail of blood; a tear left its trail on her cheek

track, path, course - 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

slot - the trail of an animal (especially a deer); he followed the deers slot over the soft turf to the edge of the trees

spoor - the trail left by a person or an animal; what the hunter follows in pursuing game; the hounds followed the foxs spoor

2.trailtrail - a path or track roughly blazed through wild or hilly country

cattle trail - a trail over which cattle were driven to market

deer trail - a trail worn by the passage of deer

horse-trail - a trail for horses

Indian trail - a trail through the wilderness worn by Amerindians

mountain trail - a trail through mountainous country

ski run, ski trail - trail or slope prepared for skiing

cart track, cartroad, track - any road or path affording passage especially a rough one

3.trailtrail - evidence pointing to a possible solution; the police are following a promising lead; the trail led straight to the perpetrator

evidence, grounds - your basis for belief or disbelief; knowledge on which to base belief; the evidence that smoking causes lung cancer is very compelling

Verb1.trailtrail - to lag or linger behind; But in so many other areas we still are dragging

lag, fall back, fall behind, dawdle - hang (back) or fall (behind) in movement, progress, development, etc.

2.trailtrail - go after with the intent to catch; The policeman chased the mugger down the alley; the dog chased the rabbit

tree - chase an animal up a tree; the hunters treed the bear with dogs and killed it; her dog likes to tree squirrels

pursue, follow - follow in or as if in pursuit; The police car pursued the suspected attacker; Her bad deed followed her and haunted her dreams all her life

quest - search the trail of (game); The dog went off and quested

hound, hunt, trace - pursue or chase relentlessly; The hunters traced the deer into the woods; the detectives hounded the suspect until they found him

run down - pursue until captured; They ran down the fugitive

3.trail - move, proceed, or walk draggingly or slowly; John trailed behind his class mates; The Mercedes trailed behind the horse cart

go, locomote, move, travel - change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically; How fast does your new car go?; We travelled from Rome to Naples by bus; The policemen went from door to door looking for the suspect; The soldiers moved towards the city in an attempt to take it before night fell; news travelled fast

4.trailtrail - hang down so as to drag along the ground; The brides veiled trailed along the ground

trail, train - drag loosely along a surface; allow to sweep the ground; The toddler was trailing his pants; She trained her long scarf behind her

5.trailtrail - drag loosely along a surface; allow to sweep the ground; The toddler was trailing his pants; She trained her long scarf behind her

drag - pull, as against a resistance; He dragged the big suitcase behind him; These worries were dragging at him

trail - hang down so as to drag along the ground; The brides veiled trailed along the ground

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.



6. scent, track, spoor The whales come close to shore, on the trail of squid.


1. follow, track, chase, pursue, dog, hunt, shadow, trace, tail (informal), hound, stalk, keep an eye on, keep tabs on (informal), run to ground Two detectives were trailing him.

3. lag, follow, drift, wander, linger, trudge, fall behind, plod, meander, amble, loiter, straggle, traipse (informal), dawdle, hang back, tag along (informal), bring up the rear, drag yourself I spent a long afternoon trailing behind him.

trail away or off fade away or out, sink, weaken, diminish, decrease, dwindle, shrink, lessen, subside, fall away, peter out, die away, tail off, taper off, grow weak, grow faint But he of all men... her voice trailed away.

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002



1. To hang or cause to hang down and be pulled along behind:

2. To go or move slowly so that progress is hindered:

3. To follow the traces or scent of, as in hunting:

4. To keep (another) under surveillance by moving along behind:

5. To follow closely or persistently:


1. Something that follows or is drawn along behind:

2. A visible sign or mark of the passage of someone or something:

3. Evidence of passage left along a course followed by a hunted animal or fugitive:

The American Heritage® Rogets Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Contact us

Find us at the office

Trailor- Verkamp street no. 63, 81415 Zagreb, Croatia

Give us a ring

Dezha Manci
+38 695 645 231
Mon - Fri, 8:00-22:00

Reach out