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trace
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Moby Dick
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trace
Used In
Moby Dick
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as in: trace the origin or development Define
to find, search, research, or keep track of (see word notes for a more detailed definition based upon context)
  • I opine, that it is plainly traceable to the first arrival of the Greenland whaling ships in London, more than two centuries ago.
  • But at last in his untraceable evolutions, the White Whale so crossed and recrossed, and in a thousand ways entangled the slack of the three lines now fast to him, that they foreshortened, and, of themselves, warped the devoted boats towards the planted irons in him; though now for a moment the whale drew aside a little, as if to rally for a more tremendous charge.

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  • Early cat domestication is traced back to China over 5,000 years ago.
  • They traced the illnesses back to a single restaurant.

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unspecified meaning
  • Nor was the pulpit itself without a trace of the same sea-taste that had achieved the ladder and the picture.
  • Through all his unearthly tattooings, I thought I saw the traces of a simple honest heart; and in his large, deep eyes, fiery black and bold, there seemed tokens of a spirit that would dare a thousand devils.

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  • All down her sides, this spectral appearance was traced with long channels of reddened rust, while all her spars and her rigging were like the thick branches of trees furred over with hoar-frost.
  • Then seating himself before it, you would have seen him intently study the various lines and shadings which there met his eye; and with slow but steady pencil trace additional courses over spaces that before were blank.
  • Nor when expandingly lifted by your subject, can you fail to trace out great whales in the starry heavens, and boats in pursuit of them; as when long filled with thoughts of war the Eastern nations saw armies locked in battle among the clouds.
  • But once gone through, we trace the round again; and are infants, boys, and men, and Ifs eternally.
  • With his snow-white new ivory leg braced against the screwed leg of his table, and with a long pruning-hook of a jack-knife in his hand, the wondrous old man, with his back to the gangway door, was wrinkling his brow, and tracing his old courses again.
  • But not alone has this Leviathan left his pre-adamite traces in the stereotype plates of nature, and in limestone and marl bequeathed his ancient bust; but upon Egyptian tablets, whose antiquity seems to claim for them an almost fossiliferous character, we find the unmistakable print of his fin.
  • While thus employed, the heavy pewter lamp suspended in chains over his head, continually rocked with the motion of the ship, and for ever threw shifting gleams and shadows of lines upon his wrinkled brow, till it almost seemed that while he himself was marking out lines and courses on the wrinkled charts, some invisible pencil was also tracing lines and courses upon the deeply marked chart of his forehead.
  • At one extremity the rope was unstranded, and the separate spread yarns were all braided and woven round the socket of the harpoon; the pole was then driven hard up into the socket; from the lower end the rope was traced half-way along the pole’s length, and firmly secured so, with intertwistings of twine.

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  • Do ye see this dent, sir"—removing his hat, and brushing aside his hair, and exposing a bowl-like cavity in his skull, but which bore not the slightest scarry trace, or any token of ever having been a wound—"Well, the captain there will tell you how that came here; he knows."

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: found a trace of Define
a small quantity or indication (see word notes for a more detailed definition based upon context)
as in: trace the origin or development Define
to find, search, research, or keep track of (see word notes for a more detailed definition based upon context)
as in: trace a picture or outline Define
copy the lines of an image; or draw an outline; or carefully draw a specific pattern (see word notes for a more detailed definition based upon context)
as in: traced a path Define
to follow (see word notes for a more detailed definition based upon context)
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