trace

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with no trace

With no evidence left behind. Our house was totally ransacked after the break-in, with no trace of how the robbers got into the house. I'm allowed to use my mom's expensive blender, just as long as I do so with no trace of ever having touched it.
See also: no, trace

sink without (a) trace

1. To quickly and thoroughly fail. The new smartphone was meant to revolutionize the industry, but it sank without trace after its commercial release. After his initial breakout success, the director's follow-up film sank without a trace.
2. To be forgotten about by the population as a whole, especially after being very popular. The digital pets fad took the world by storm in the late 1990s, but sank without trace by the end of the millennium.
See also: sink, trace, without

kick over the traces

To ignore rules and/or tradition; to rebel or break free. Refers to a horse that has stepped over the straps harnessing it to what it is pulling, therefore allowing it move more freely. Many people desire to kick over the traces in youth, and then begin to cherish the very traditions they flouted earlier in their life.
See also: kick, over, trace

disappear without (a) trace

1. To disappear without any indication to one's or something's whereabouts. Police have been searching for two weeks to find a young girl who disappeared without trace from her home in Rochester. Authorities are puzzled by the navy submarine that seemingly disappeared without a trace last Thursday.
2. To be forgotten about by the population as a whole, especially after being very popular. The digital pets fad took the world by storm in the late 1990s, but disappeared without a trace after a few years.
See also: disappear, trace, without

vanish without (a) trace

1. To disappear without any indication to one's or something's whereabouts. Police have been searching for two weeks to find a young girl who vanished without trace from her home in Rochester. Authorities are puzzled by the navy submarine that seemingly vanished without a trace last Thursday.
2. To be forgotten about by the population as a whole, especially after being very popular. The digital pets fad took the world by storm in the late 1990s, but pretty much vanished without a trace by the end of the millennium.
See also: trace, vanish, without

trace back

1. To derive or originate from someone, something, or some place. The powerful corporation traces back nearly 200 years to a small manufacturing company in New York City. Investigators discovered that the drug money traced back to a US senator.
2. To discover the point of origin of someone or something by following a trail of information or series of events backward. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "trace" and "back." We were able to trace the assassination attempt back to a cartel in Mexico. Make sure you only pay in cash, as the police can trace back exactly where and when you use your card.
See also: back, trace

trace out

1. To trace, sketch, or delineate the outline of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "trace" and "out." He traced out the directions to the cabin on the back of a napkin for me. I'm having a hard time visualizing what you mean. Why don't you trace it out on the whiteboard for us?
2. To develop, determine, or delineate something, such as a pattern or course of events, gradually over a period of time. A noun or pronoun can be used between "trace" and "out." The investigation traced out a pattern of corruption and abuse of power going all the way to the top of the administration. The film portrays the legendary actor's rise to fame, tracing it out from his humble beginnings to
See also: out, trace

lose trace of (someone or something)

1. To lose visibility of, forget about, misplace, or neglect to pay close attention to someone or something. I'm sorry I'm late—we were having so much fun that I completely lost trace of time. I was watching the bird through my binoculars until I lost trace of it in the canopy. The police lost trace of the criminal somewhere in the swamp.
2. To unintentionally decrease frequency of communication with someone over time until no further contact takes place. Unfortunately, I lost trace of my college roommate, so I have no idea how she's doing now. Yeah, I lost trace of Mark after he moved to Thailand.
See also: lose, of, trace

not a trace (of something)

Not even the smallest amount (of something). The group of financial analysts said there is not a trace of hope that the economy will improve at any point this year. The team needed to come out with intensity if they wanted to stand a chance, but unfortunately they showed not a trace during that dreadful display. There wasn't a trace of remorse in his voice as he pleaded guilty to the horrible crimes.
See also: not, trace

kick over the traces

Fig. to do what one is meant not to do; to rebel against authority. (Alludes to a horse that steps on the wrong side of the straps that link it to whatever it is pulling.) At the age of sixty, Walter kicked over the traces and ran away to Brazil. All these young kids seem to want to kick over the traces.
See also: kick, over, trace

lose trace of someone or something

Rur. to fail to maintain a way of finding someone or something. I lost trace of Walter after we left high school. I lost trace of the stock certificates after about twenty years.
See also: lose, of, trace

trace around something

to press something against paper and draw a line around the edges that are in contact with the paper. Trace around this piece of material and cut out a new pattern. If you trace around the edges carefully, you will end up with a good drawing of the outline.
See also: around, trace

trace over something

 
1. to draw over something lightly. Trace over the drawing to make it a little darker. I had to trace over it twice to make it visible.
2. to copy something by placing a thin sheet of paper over it and drawing an outline of the thing to be copied. Trace over this picture and then photocopy about ten copies for us all. This needs to be traced over again.
See also: over, trace

trace someone or something (back) (to someone or something)

to trail or track the origin of someone or something back to someone or something. We traced her back to the car she had ridden in, but lost her trail at that point. We traced the letter back to her. See if you can trace back the check to its writer.

kick over the traces

Break loose from restraint, misbehave. For example, There's always one child who'll kick over the traces as soon as the bell rings. This metaphoric expression alludes to the straps attaching a horse to a vehicle, which the animal sometimes gets a leg over in order to kick more freely and thereby refuse to move forward. [Mid-1800s]
See also: kick, over, trace

kick over the traces

If someone kicks over the traces, they pay no attention to rules and traditions and behave exactly as they want to. Harry had kicked over the traces when his father died, and quit going to church. He found that most of his students had the desire to kick over the traces, the refusal to accept old values without question. Note: When a horse pulling a cart or carriage kicks over the traces, it steps over the side straps attached to its harness, so it can no longer be controlled effectively by the driver.
See also: kick, over, trace

kick over the traces

become insubordinate or reckless.
Traces are the straps by which a draught horse is attached to the vehicle it is pulling. If the animal kicked out over these straps, the driver would no longer be able to control it.
See also: kick, over, trace

sink without trace

1 disappear and not be seen or heard of again. 2 fail abjectly.
2 2003 Down Democrat Recently Paul Linehan's team sank without trace in the NCU Senior Cup, crushed by Division Two visitors Carrickfergus.
See also: sink, trace, without

ˌkick over the ˈtraces

(old-fashioned, British English) start to behave badly and refuse to accept any discipline or control: She smokes and she drinks. She’s really kicking over the traces, and her parents don’t know what to do with her.This phrase refers to a horse that has managed to lift its leg(s) over the long thin strips of leather (the traces) that attach it to a carriage or wagon so that it can kick more easily. The driver then cannot control it.
See also: kick, over, trace

sink, vanish, etc. without (a) ˈtrace

disappear completely: The boat sank without trace.Many pop stars sink without a trace. After five years no one can even remember their names.
See also: trace, without

trace back

v.
1. To ascertain the successive stages in the development or progress of something by reasoning backward from an effect to a cause: We traced our family history back 200 years. Skepticism as a philosophical movement can be traced back to Sextus Empiricus.
2. To derive from something or someone: The counterfeit drugs traced back to an American expatriate. Many English words trace back to Greek or Latin.
See also: back, trace

trace out

v.
1. To sketch or delineate something: I laid out the map and traced out the path to the park.
2. To delineate some pattern or development over time: The results traced out an interesting pattern of sudden fluctuations every three months. The biographer traced out the politician's rise to power.
3. To ascertain something by reconstructing a series of events: The police traced out the Internet cafe as the place where the virus was launched. The motive for the crime was so unusual that no one could trace it out.
See also: out, trace

kick over the traces

To act in a way that contravenes social expectations or propriety: "As soon as the opportunity presented itself, [he] kicked over the traces and threw himself into a life of pleasure" (K.D. Reynolds).
See also: kick, over, trace

kick over the traces, to

To break loose, away from control. The traces referred to are a pair of ropes or straps attaching a harnessed horse to a wagon or other vehicle. A horse can kick over these attachments when refusing to run or pull the vehicle. The term was transferred to anyone breaking free from restraint in the latter half of the nineteenth century. It appeared in Henry Kingsley’s Ravenshoe (1861): “I’ll go about with the rogue. He is inclined to kick over the traces.”
See also: kick, over

kick over the traces

To disregard what is expected and follow your own wishes. Traces are the leather harness straps by which a horse is attached to a wagon or another vehicle. When the animal becomes upset, it may well kick out and end up stepping over the traces. At that point the driver has little or no control in steering or stopping. A person who rebels against convention and acts in what society would consider an unseemly manner has kicked over the traces. A similar equine-derived expression is “spit the bit and chuck the harness.”
See also: kick, over, trace