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trace
used in Moby Dick

14 uses
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1  —2 uses as in:
trace the origin or development
Definition
to find, search, research, or keep track of
This sense of trace usually has to do with information. It's specific meaning depends on its context. For example:
to find or search for something through investigation — often the origin of something:
  • "The police traced the call." — found out where it originated
  • "We are tracing the lost luggage" — searching for
  • "Can you trace the problem to its source?" — find through investigation
  • "She traced her family history to discover that her great-grandmother came to the United States from Lithuania when the Nazis occupied it." — discovered something through investigation
to research or report on the development of something
  • "She traced the history of the automobile in her paper." — researched the development of something
  • "Her presentation traced recent progress in alternative energy solutions." — reported on
to monitor or keep track of the progress or development of something
  • "She traces the progress of at-risk students." — monitors information
  • "I used binoculars to trace her progress up the mountain." — monitor, follow, or track
  • I opine, that it is plainly traceable to the first arrival of the Greenland whaling ships in London, more than two centuries ago.
    Chapters 91-93 — The Pequod Meets The Rose-Bud; Ambergris; The Castaway (59% in)
  • 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.
    Chapters 133-135 — The Chase—First Day; The Chase—Second Day; The Chase—Third Day (46% in)

There are no more uses of "trace" flagged with this meaning in Moby Dick.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
?  —12 uses
exact meaning not specified
  • But once gone through, we trace the round again; and are infants, boys, and men, and Ifs eternally.
    Chapters 112-114 — The Blacksmith; The Forge; The Gilder (94% in)
  • Nor was the pulpit itself without a trace of the same sea-taste that had achieved the ladder and the picture.
    Chapters 7-9 — The Chapel; The Pulpit; The Sermon (33% in)
  • 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.
    Chapters 10-12 — A Bosom Friend; Nightgown; Biographical (8% in)
  • 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.
    Chapters 43-45 — Hark!; The Chart; The Affidavit (7% in)
  • 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.
    Chapters 43-45 — Hark!; The Chart; The Affidavit (9% in)
  • 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.
    Chapters 52-54 — The Albatross; The Gam; The Town-Ho's Story (1% in)
  • 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.
    Chapters 55-57 — Monstrous Pictures of Whales; Less Erroneous Pictures of Whales; Whales in Paint.... (97% in)
  • 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."
    Chapters 100-102 — The Pequod meets....; The Decanter; A Bower in the Arsacides (32% in)
  • 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.
    Chapters 103-105 — Measurement of The Whale's Skeleton; The Fossil Whale; Does the Whale Diminish (52% in)
  • For, thought Ahab, while even the highest earthly felicities ever have a certain unsignifying pettiness lurking in them, but, at bottom, all heartwoes, a mystic significance, and, in some men, an archangelic grandeur; so do their diligent tracings-out not belie the obvious deduction.
    Chapters 106-108 — Ahab's Leg; The Carpenter; Ahab and the Carpenter (13% in)
  • 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.
    Chapters 109-111 — Ahab and Starbuck in the Cabin; Queequeg in his Coffin; The Pacific (7% in)
  • 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.
    Chapters 112-114 — The Blacksmith; The Forge; The Gilder (73% in)

There are no more uses of "trace" in Moby Dick.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list — Onelook.com®