trail noun

1 line/smell that sb/sth leaves behind

ADJ. scent Ants follow a scent trail laid down previously. | blood, smoke, vapour | thin | muddy | false

VERB + TRAIL lay, leave, make The couple laid a false trail to escape the paparazzi. The tourists left a trail of litter behind them. | pick up The dog had picked up the trail of a rabbit. | follow | lose The fox had crossed a stream, and the hounds lost the trail.

TRAIL + VERB go cold They had to find the kidnappers before the trail went cold.

PREP. on sb's ~ Detectives had found several new clues and were back on the murderer's trail.

PHRASES a trail of blood, a trail of devastation The hurricane passed, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. | a trail of smoke

2 path/route

ADJ. forest, nature, woodland | 10-kilometre, 5-mile, etc. | cycle, mountain bike, tourist, walking | hippy, tourist This restaurant is off the tourist trail. | campaign, comeback, winning (all figurative) After a disastrous few seasons, the team are on the comeback trail.

VERB + TRAIL follow, hit In 1967 she hit the hippy trail to India. | be on (often figurative)

TRAIL + VERB go, lead, wend its way The trail wends its way through leafy woodland and sunny meadows.

PREP. along a/the ~