Trail Trail (tr[=a]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Trailed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Trailing}.] [OE. trailen, OF. trailler to trail a deer, or hunt him upon a cold scent, also, to hunt or pursue him with a limehound, F. trailler to trail a fishing line; probably from a derivative of L. trahere to draw; cf. L. traha a drag, sledge, tragula a kind of drag net, a small sledge, Sp. trailla a leash, an instrument for leveling the ground, D. treilen to draw with a rope, to tow, treil a rope for drawing a boat. See {Trace}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. (a) To hunt by the track; to track. (b) to follow behind. (c) To pursue. --Halliwell. [1913 Webster +PJC]

2. To draw or drag, as along the ground. [1913 Webster]

And hung his head, and trailed his legs along. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

They shall not trail me through their streets Like a wild beast. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Long behind he trails his pompous robe. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

3. (Mil.) To carry, as a firearm, with the breech near the ground and the upper part inclined forward, the piece being held by the right hand near the middle. [1913 Webster]

4. To tread down, as grass, by walking through it; to lay flat. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster]

5. To take advantage of the ignorance of; to impose upon. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster]

I presently perceived she was (what is vernacularly termed) trailing Mrs. Dent; that is, playing on her ignorance. --C. Bronte. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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