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tract 1 (trăkt)
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n.
1.
a. An expanse of land or water.
b. A specified or limited area of land: developing a 30-acre tract.
2. Anatomy
a. A system of organs and tissues that together perform a specialized function: the alimentary tract.
b. A bundle of nerve fibers having a common origin, termination, and function.
3. Archaic A stretch or lapse of time.

[Middle English, period of time, from Latin tractus, course, space, period of time, from past participle of trahere, to draw.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
tract 2 (trăkt)
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n.
A leaflet or pamphlet containing a declaration or appeal, especially one put out by a religious or political group.

[Middle English tracte, treatise, probably short for Latin tractātus, from past participle of tractāre, to discuss, frequentative of trahere, to draw.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
tract 3 (trăkt)
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n.
The verses from Scripture sung after the gradual in the Roman Catholic Mass during penitential seasons such as Lent or as part of a Requiem.

[Middle English tracte, from Medieval Latin tractus, from Latin, a drawing out (from its being an uninterrupted solo); see TRACT1.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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