Pronunciation: (trāl),[key] —v.t. 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 mark out, as a track.
6. to tread down or make a path through (grass or the like).
7. to draw out, as speech; protract.
8. Ceram.to pour (slip) on a biscuit so as to produce a pattern.
—v.i. 1. to be drawn or dragged along the ground or some other surface, as when hanging from something moving: Her long bridal gown trailed across the floor. 2. to hang down loosely from something.
3. to stream from or float after something moving, as dust, smoke, and sparks do.
4. to follow as if drawn along.
5. to fish by trailing a line from a moving boat; troll.
6. to go slowly, lazily, or wearily along.
7. to pass or extend in a straggling line.
8. to change gradually or wander from a course, so as to become weak, ineffectual, etc. (usually fol. by off or away): Her voice trailed off into silence. 9. to arrive or be last: He finally trailed in at 10 o'clock. 10. to be losing in a contest: The home team was trailing 20 to 15. 11. to creep or crawl, as a serpent.
12. to follow a track or scent, as of game.
13. (of a plant) to extend itself in growth along the ground rather than taking root or clinging by tendrils, etc.
14. trail arms,Mil. a. to hold a rifle in the right hand at an oblique angle, with the muzzle forward and the butt a few inches off the ground.
b. a command to trail arms.
—n. 1. a path or track made across a wild region, over rough country, or the like, by the passage of people or animals.
2. the track, scent, or the like, left by an animal, person, or thing, esp. as followed by a hunter, hound, or other pursuer.
3. something that is trailed or that trails behind, as the train of a skirt or robe.
4. a stream of dust, smoke, light, people, vehicles, etc., behind something moving.
5. Artillery.the part of a gun carriage that rests on the ground when the piece is unlimbered.
6. Archit.a running vine, leaf, or tendril ornament, as in a Gothic molding.