track

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun one of a series of thin concentric rings on a magnetic disk or of thin lines on a tape, which the read/write head accesses and along which the data is stored in separate sectors

Aviation

  • noun a projection on the Earth’s surface of the path of an aircraft, which can be expressed in degrees from north
  • verb to follow a line of the flight path of an aircraft, as projected on the earth surface

Banking

  • verb to follow someone or something; to follow how something develops, such as one of the stock market indices

Cars & Driving

  • noun the distance between the centres of the contact patches of two wheels on a common axle

Computing

  • verb to follow a path or track correctly

Construction

  • A light gauge U-shaped metal member attached to a floor and used toanchor studs for a partition.
  • A U-shaped member attached to a floor, ceiling, door or window header; used as a guide for a sliding or folding partition, door, or curtain.
  • A pair of special structural shapes with fastenings or ties for a craneway, movable wall, or railroad.
  • An electrical raceway that allows the placement and use of a variety of types of luminaires along it.

Cricket

  • noun the pitch, especially with reference to the quality of the playing surface as it affects the game or, in phrases like ‘go down the track’, to describe the action of an attacking batsman who advances out of his ground, usually to a slower bowler
    Citation ‘Like Rhodes before him, he had defied popular opinion that an English slow left-arm bowler would be murdered on hard Australian tracks’ (Frith 1984)
    Citation ‘I can clearly recollect this ball that cut sharply in from outside the off-stump from none other than the great Dennis Lillee at Perth (which was certainly one of the quickest tracks in the world) and hit me in the box’ (Farokh Engineer, Sportstar [Chennai] 14 May 1994)
    Citation ‘Botham was in fiery mood; hooking the short stuff … and then marching down the track to hit Harper over the top’ (Matthew Engel, Guardian 13 July 1984)

Electronics

  • A path along which sounds, images, or other signals are recorded. For example, a soundtrack, a control track, or that of one of the multiple audio signals which are mixed for a recording.
  • A specific song or selection from a sound recording, such as that available on a CD.
  • On a data medium, such as a disk or tape, a channel, band, or other path associated with the sequential access of data. On an optical disc, a track usually follows a continuous spiral, hard disk tracks usually form concentric circles, while tracks generally run in a parallel manner on tapes. Each track consists of a given number of sectors.
  • One or more grooves, rails, or ridges, often of metal, which serves to provide support and guide movement. For instance, a track along which a heavy apparatus may be moved more easily.
  • The path along which something moves. For instance, the trajectory of a reflected particle. Also, to follow the path along which something moves. For example, to track a scanned object.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a concentric ring on a computer disk or tape which is used to store data in separate sections

Law

  • noun one of three management systems by which a court case is processed: namely the small claims track, the fast track or the multi-track

Media Studies

  • noun a physical movement by a camera (on its guiding rails or movable mounting), following action or movement in the scene
  • noun a guiding rail along which a camera moves when taking a tracking shot. The rail allows a smooth, gliding movement.
  • noun a component of the finished soundtrack, prepared in the editing suite and layered together with others, e.g. the dialogue track and the music track

Military

  • noun marks on the ground, made by the movement of a person or vehicle
  • noun a moving band of metal links fitted around the wheels of a tank or other armoured vehicle, enabling it to move over soft or uneven ground
  • verb to follow the movement of an aircraft, vehicle or ship using surveillance equipment or a missile guidance system

Sports

  • noun a surface on which athletes run, usually a prepared surface with long straight sides and rounded ends, divided into lanes
  • verb to follow the progress of something such as an athlete’s physical development

Origin & History of “track”

Track was borrowed from Old French trac ‘trail, set of footprints, etc’. this too appears to have been a loanword, from middle Dutch trek ‘pulling’ (ultimate source of English trek (19th c.), via Afrikaans), which was derived from the verb trekken ‘pull’. The sense ‘path’ did not emerge until as recently as the 19th century.
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