trace n. A visible mark, such as a footprint, made or left by the passage of a person, animal, or thing. Evidence or an indication of the former presence or existence of something; a vestige. // trac-es v. tr. To follow the course or trail of: trace a wounded deer: tracing missing persons. To locate or discover by searching or researching evidence. / v. intr. To make one's way along a trail or course. To have origins; be traceable.