Tract

Tract

noun

Etymology

Abbrev.from tractate.
  • A written discourse or dissertation, generally of short extent; a short treatise, especially on practical religion.
    The church clergy at that time writ the best collection of tracts against popery that ever appeared.
    — Swift.

Tract

noun

Etymology

Low tractus a drawing, train, track, course, tract of land, from trahere tractum, to draw. Senses 4 and 5 are perhaps due to confusion with track. See Trace,verb, and cf. Tratt.
  • Something drawn out or extended; expanse.
    “The deep tract of hell.” Milton.
  • A region or quantity of land or water, of indefinite extent; an area; as, an unexplored tract of sea.
    A very high mountain joined to the mainland by a narrow tract of earth.
    — Addison.
  • [Obsolete] Traits; features; lineaments.
    The discovery of a man's self by the tracts of his countenance is a great weakness.
    — Bacon.
  • [Obsolete] The footprint of a wild beast. Dryden.
  • [Obsolete] Track; trace.
    Efface all tract of its traduction.
    — Sir T. Browne.
    But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forthon, Leaving no tract behind.
    — Shakespeare
  • [Obsolete] Treatment; exposition. Shakespeare
  • [Obsolete] Continuity or extension of anything; as, the tract of speech. Older.
  • Continued or protracted duration; length; extent.
    “Improved by tract of time.” Milton.
  • (Roman Catholic Church) Verses of Scripture sung at Mass, instead of the Alleluia, from Septuagesima Sunday till the Saturday befor Easter; — so called because sung tractim, or without a break, by one voice, instead of by many as in the antiphons.

Tract

verb transitive
  • [Obsolete] To trace out; to track; also, to draw out; to protact. Spenser.
    B. Jonson.