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trace
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trace
as in:  found a trace of


There was not a trace of the defendant’s DNA at the crime scene.
  a small quantity or indication

(see word notes for a more detailed definition based upon context)
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trace traces
Notes:
The exact meaning of this sense of trace is often subject to its context. For example:
  • "The plane disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean without leaving a trace." — any small indication that something was present
  • "She speaks English with just a trace of a southern accent." — a very small amount (especially an amount too small to be accurately measured)
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Samples:
  • There was not a trace of the defendant’s DNA at the crime scene.
  • The study found traces of cocaine on most $20 bills used in large cities of the United States and Canada.
  • There isn’t a trace of evidence to support her story.
  • Yes, it was gone; almost the last trace of their labour was gone!
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm

  • Show more
  • There hasn’t been the trace of a ship.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • The words shone momentarily on the page and they, too, sank without trace.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • The sky was now tinged with the faintest trace of pink.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • In 1973, Bill posted an enigmatic letter alluding vaguely to plans for an extended trip and then disappeared without a trace; to this day nobody knows what became of him.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • He sits there, uncomplaining, while I wash away all the traces of dirt from his hair and skin.
    Suzanne Collins  --  The Hunger Games
  • I could find no trace of them anywhere.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula

  • Show more again
  • The Spirit Bear never once slowed or looked back. Cole fought back his tears until the last trace of white faded into the thick underbrush,
    Ben Mikaeslen  --  Touching Spirit Bear
  • A trace of anger was in the general’s black eyes, but it was there for but a second, and he said, in his most pleasant manner: "Dear me, what a righteous young man you are! I assure you I do not do the thing you suggest."
    Richard Connell  --  The Most Dangerous Game
  • "The code?" Frypan repeated, his voice lighting up with a trace of hope.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • I’ve pored over grainy sepia pictures of long-dead relatives... and not once have I been able to detect even the slightest trace of August’s face in their faces.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • Or maybe, by some off chance, there was still a trace of Jeremy Pratt left in this body.
    John Corey Whaley  --  Nogin
  • The first traces of dawn had crept up on them, and Thomas could see every detail of Newt’s face, his skin tight, his brow creased.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • Last night one of my post-dated letters went to post, the first of that fatal series which is to blot out the very traces of my existence from the earth.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • The horizon stretched, impersonal once more, barren of all but the faintest trace of smoke.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • The traces of such an illness as his do not lightly die away.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • "And then," said Jack, "when I’ve had a bathe and something to eat, I’ll just trek over to the other side of the mountain and see if I can see any traces.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • That night, Newt and Alby gathered every last Glader at the East Door about a half hour before it closed, the first traces of twilight’s dimness creeping across the sky.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • No trace has ever been found of the great dog, at which there is much mourning, for, with public opinion in its present state, he would, I believe, be adopted by the town.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • There was something arresting about the youngster’s eyes. Dark and emotive, they suggested a trace of exotic blood in his heritage, Greek, maybe, or Chippewa, and conveyed a vulnerability that made Westerberg want to take the kid under his wing.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • Harry did not want to enter the village like a pantomime horse, trying to keep themselves concealed while magically covering their traces.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Last night I detected traces of my old complaint.
    Richard Connell  --  The Most Dangerous Game
  • Their first act was to gallop in a body right round the boundaries of the farm, as though to make quite sure that no human being was hiding anywhere upon it; then they raced back to the farm buildings to wipe out the last traces of Jones’s hated reign.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • At every few steps Napoleon stopped and snuffed the ground for traces of Snowball’s footsteps, which, he said, he could detect by the smell.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • No trace of the young man was ever found.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • "Next year, every trace of your existence here will be removed from the island," Edwin said.
    Ben Mikaeslen  --  Touching Spirit Bear
  • He snuffed in every corner, in the barn, in the cow-shed, in the henhouses, in the vegetable garden, and found traces of Snowball almost everywhere.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • "There—" Before the others could examine the drop of blood, Jack had swerved off, judging a trace, touching a bough that gave.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • [The arrows] bear no trace of the noxious green slime that came from Glimmer’s body—
    Suzanne Collins  --  The Hunger Games
  • Ron looked toward him, and Harry thought he saw a trace of scarlet in his eyes.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • True that there were there, as we had seen them in life, the traces of care and pain and waste.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • "But then… do you mean…" said Hermione slowly, and Harry could tell that she was trying to keep any trace of skepticism out of her voice, "that you believe these objects — these Hallows — really exist?"
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • If August has children with someone who doesn’t have a trace of the gene, there’s a 100 percent probability that their kids will inherit the gene, but a zero percent chance that their kids will have a double dose of it, like August.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • There wasn’t the faintest trace of writing on any of them, not even Auntie Mabel’s birthday, or dentist, half-past three.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry sat on his four-poster and flicked through the blank pages, not one of which had a trace of scarlet ink on it.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • All Lucy’s loveliness had come back to her in death, and the hours that had passed, instead of leaving traces of ’decay’s effacing fingers’, had but restored the beauty of life, till positively I could not believe my eyes that I was looking at a corpse.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • A wave of heated air trembled above the ashes but without a trace of smoke.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • Nobody’s ever found a trace of it, have they?
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • An object that had been lost this long, and apparently without trace, did not seem like a good candidate for the Horcrux hidden in the castle …
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Harry could not see a trace of Malfoy, Crabbe, or Goyle anywhere.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • There was the faintest trace of longing in his voice as he looked at the Elder Wand.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Not only are the scars from the arena gone, but those accumulated over years of hunting have vanished without a trace.
    Suzanne Collins  --  The Hunger Games
  • When this was done, and he knew that all was in train, he blotted out his traces, as he thought, by murdering his agent.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • I looked into Renfield’s room, but there was no trace there except ….
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • Every trace of all that had been was blotted out.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • For now that he think he is free from every trace of us all, and that he has escaped us with so many hours to him, then his selfish child brain will whisper him to sleep.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
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