Main definitions of tract in English

: tract1tract2

tract1

noun

  • 1An area of indefinite extent, typically a large one.

    ‘large tracts of natural forest’
    • ‘Deforestation along the East Coast also opened up large tracts of land filled with small prey, making the area even more inviting.’
    • ‘The remaining area provided for rural and suburban residential tracts, and targeted areas along the city's expressway for future development.’
    • ‘It was obviously using rolling stock left over from before unification and went through some very depressed areas with large tracts of unused land and derelict buildings.’
    • ‘The main vegetation here comprises large tracts of tropical rain forests, semi-evergreen as well as moist deciduous forests, plantations and grasslands.’
    • ‘If that is true, it could explain why the species has disappeared from the upper Central Valley of Costa Rica, an area without large forest tracts.’
    • ‘His short daily walk took him past a set of rundown, graffiti-covered shops and litter-scarred tracts of open land.’
    • ‘There are already plans for expansion with a tract of land leased next to the current factory for use later.’
    • ‘As a result of the conflict hundreds of towns and large tracts of agricultural land have been destroyed.’
    • ‘He asked why farmers in rural areas shouldn't be able to make money selling off sites while it was okay for big builders to buy large tracts of land near cities and then develop them.’
    • ‘Black bears and forest interior songbirds need large tracts of forested land, and most of that habitat in the region has disappeared.’
    • ‘Its extensive tracts of open moorland interspersed with small lochs made it a rich refuge for wildlife.’
    • ‘This combined area has the largest tracts of subtropical West Indian hardwood hammock in the United States.’
    • ‘There are areas on which there are tracts of land which are quite unproductive and which could easily be acquired for plantation with suitable trees.’
    • ‘I wonder how he can reconcile this with his own proposals to zone large tracts of land at the same meeting for residential development, based on no professional opinion.’
    • ‘Expansive tracts of productive farming land are being lost to plantations as are the farming communities themselves.’
    • ‘The lowland forests of Indonesia are the largest tracts of land of their type threatened on our planet.’
    • ‘After World War I, the Australian government offered veterans the right to settle great tracts of vacant land as compensation for their military service.’
    • ‘They are a legacy of the days of the first settlers when a ‘town’ was, in fact, a large tract of land with a village at its centre.’
    • ‘The Dawes Act not only severely restricted communal lands and traditional cultural patterns, it opened up huge tracts of native lands to white settlement and exploitation.’
    • ‘There are huge tracts of development land within the town and it was zoned for development and that was where development should be taking place.’
    area, region, expanse, span, sweep, stretch, extent, belt, swathe, zone, plot, patch, parcel, portion, section, sector, quarter
    territory, estate, acreage, allotment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1literary An indefinitely large extent of something.
      ‘the vast tracts of time required to account for the deposition of the strata’
      • ‘Higher oil prices are damaging vast tracts of the economy.’
      • ‘He pointed to the survival of the practical man over vast tracts of British industry.’
      • ‘It's bizarre because we are talking about vast tracts of timber not too far from a railway.’
      • ‘Vast tracts of class and cash separate these two very different islands in the Glaswegian archipelago.’
      • ‘But a bit more about the future to add to such vast tracts on the past would have been welcome.’
      • ‘So to keep their vast tracts of ‘plexes’ afloat, more and more are counting on exploiting their real estate as media.’
      • ‘That's exactly what is happening in personal computing, where prices are plunging on vast tracts of open-disk storage space.’
      • ‘He has laid claim to vast tracts of the culinary world.’
      • ‘With drivers pandering along at such slow speeds, it hardly surprising that pile ups occur when the margin for error is so small with vast tracts of traffic all moving in tightly knit convoys.’
      • ‘Admittedly, the marshaling of characters and strands of plot over vast tracts of prose has never been the author's primary concern.’
      • ‘But one of the things you are not supposed to notice is that vast tracts of the programme have absolutely nothing to do with live sport.’
      • ‘He publicly attacked a Melbourne biotechnology company for its aggressive enforcement of patents that cover vast tracts of the genome of every creature on earth.’
      • ‘Are we to suppose that throughout these vast tracts of cosmic space and time, no quantum process resulted in a determinate consequence?’
      • ‘We are drawn through vast tracts of time and across unknown landscapes into a world very different from our own.’
  • 2A major passage in the body, large bundle of nerve fibers, or other continuous elongated anatomical structure or region.

    ‘the digestive tract’
    • ‘The tubular esophagus exhibits the typical structure of the gastrointestinal tract with an prominent muscularis mucosae and muscularis propria.’
    • ‘The animals became ill and lost weight as multiple regions of their digestive tracts became inflamed.’
    • ‘Tumors also can cause nausea and vomiting, particularly if they affect the inner ear, gastrointestinal tract, liver or brain.’
    • ‘It works mainly on the spinal cord, first impressing the sensory tract to the extent that it can produce complete anesthesia.’
    • ‘The descending fibers of the spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve can be observed ventromedial to the inferior cerebellar peduncle.’
    • ‘The white matter of the cord consists mainly of longitudinally running nerve fiber tracts that are arranged in anterior, lateral, and posterior funiculi.’
    • ‘The degree of elongation in the gastrointestinal tract varies from one region to another.’
    • ‘Meckel's diverticulum is the most common congenital anomaly of the gastrointestinal tract involving the small bowel and terminal ileum.’
    • ‘The focus was mostly on Crohn's disease, which can affect any region of the gastrointestinal tract, although the ileum and colon are the sites most frequently involved.’
    • ‘When eating and drinking in general aggravate the pain, the pain is nearly always arising from the stomach, pancreas, biliary tract, small intestine, or colon.’
    • ‘Diverticulitis is an infection or inflammation of one or more small bulging pouches in the digestive tract called diverticula.’
    • ‘The signals then travel along the spinothalamic tract of the spinal cord to the thalamus and the cortex.’
    • ‘Contrast medium appears opaque on X-ray film, providing a clear outline of structures such as your digestive tract or blood vessels.’
    • ‘The brain stem is very much more than simply a viaduct for the long nerve fibre tracts directly linking brain and spinal cord.’
    • ‘We divided the urinary tract into the upper tract (defined as the kidneys and ureters) and the lower tract (bladder, prostate, and urethra).’
    • ‘This can cause broken nerve tracts and might also correct the abnormal lateral positioning of the longitudinal tracts to some extent in these mutant embryos.’
    • ‘As the food you eat passes through your digestive tract, your body takes nutrients and water from the food.’
    • ‘All this then enters the digestive tract and begins its passage from esophagus to stomach to duodenum to small intestine to colon.’
    • ‘Other areas affected included the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe, and, in one case, the white matter tracts of the cerebellum, midbrain, and pons.’
    • ‘Diseases of the kidneys, heart, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, bones, or other body systems may affect growth.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense duration or course (of time)): from Latin tractus drawing, dragging from trahere draw, pull.

Pronunciation:

tract

/trakt/

Main definitions of tract in English

: tract1tract2

tract2

noun

  • A short treatise in pamphlet form, typically on a religious subject.

    • ‘I think we all have come across religious tracts in our lives - little pamphlets that are often handed out by evangelists on street corners, that we in turn throw away.’
    • ‘He was a prolific writer of both religious tracts and scientific treatises, and many times he combined the two.’
    • ‘I don't have many absolutes, no religious tracts to adhere to, no political dogma that I feel so strongly about that I feel it should be imposed on everyone.’
    • ‘A fervent baptist, he also published numerous religious tracts.’
    • ‘New members are recruited to the religion through workshops, colloquiums, religious tracts, and other publications.’
    • ‘As our event started, one of our volunteers came to let me know that there were protesters in the parking lot handing out religious tracts.’
    • ‘His description of his life before becoming a Christian sounds like something straight out of a religious tract.’
    • ‘As such, you could look at religious tracts and systems as being blue-prints for consciousness.’
    • ‘The nation desperately needs sound doctrinal teaching, grounded solely on the Bible, whether through sermons, books, tracts or radio programmes.’
    • ‘But suppose your friend wanted to show up for the movie drunk as a skunk, or wearing a rebel flag on her jacket, or she planned to hand out religious tracts during the show?’
    • ‘But an even more pertinent question would be whether the theses lead up to any sort of tract or treatise concerned with the Holy Spirit and nothing else.’
    • ‘These poets by no means offer up religious tracts, but do often engage in the arguments attendant to modes of belief, the debate that basic mortality serves up daily in our uncertain skin.’
    • ‘If a coworker appears hungover, attempt to slip a religious tract in his hand.’
    • ‘Espousing Christian values, these books were intended to supplement the widely circulated religious tracts and Sunday school literature.’
    • ‘Too large for a religious tract, decidedly more elegant than the standard municipal report, it could fit easily within a line of paperbacks strung along the sides of a railway station book kiosk.’
    • ‘He would later tell his of monks cranking out tracts and pamphlets, hands stained with the bluish-purple dyes of a messy-smelly technology.’
    • ‘Yet they were also the subject of tracts, sermons, poems, memoirs, illustrations, and not a few Tin Pan Alley tearjerkers.’
    • ‘Many people read nothing but newspapers, others religious tracts and books but in the end, such people cultivate a limited range of vocabulary.’
    • ‘The history of Europe post Reformation and then of America reads progressively more like a humanist cliff-hanger than a religious tract.’
    • ‘So for example, when he's writing his religious tracts, he at one point goes back and writes a crisis in the life of an actress to show that he hasn't left the aesthetic behind.’
    treatise, essay, article, paper, monograph, disquisition, dissertation, thesis, exposition, study, piece of writing, lecture, homily, sermon, work
    pamphlet, booklet, leaflet, brochure
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting a written work treating a particular topic), apparently an abbreviation of Latin tractatus (see tractate). The current sense dates from the early 19th century.

Pronunciation:

tract

/trakt/