trek, verb

Forms:
trac, trackShow more Formerly also trac, track, trak, treck.
Origin:
Dutch, Afrikaans, Show more Dutch, imperative of trekken; many of the later senses are derived from Afrikaans trek. The central sense of the word in both Dutch and Afrikaans is ‘to pull’; see further notes at trek noun.
1. Of draught animals.
a. intransitive. To pull; often used as an order to animals to begin pulling, or to pull more strongly; loop sense 1 a.
1820 T. Philipps Philipps, 1820 Settler (1960) 74He carries his Mutton and dried beef and bread and his blanket in a large chest on which he sits to drive, and..jogs on contentedly, now and then calling out ‘Trac, Trac’.
1977 F.G. Butler Karoo Morning 90Tembile would act as voorloper, Neville would work the whip and Godfrey the brake. ‘Trek!’ shouted Neville, and we would be off.
b. transitive. To pull (a vehicle).
1863 W.C. Baldwin Afr. Hunting 152My oxen could not possibly trek my wagon through the heavy sands in their present condition.
1893 H.M. Doughty Wherry in Wendish 53A farm horse..trekked us for four or five miles.
2. intransitive. To travel.
a. In historical contexts. To undertake a long or arduous journey by ox-wagon (often in convoy or with a large party). Also figurative.
1835 T.H. Bowker Journal. 25 Sept.Making ready for to track have got no horses.
1990 S. Johnson in Independent (U.K.) 12 Feb. 8Crowds will trek any distance to be at the homecoming.
b. To undertake a long or arduous walk; to hike.
1962 F.C. Metrowich Scotty Smith 23He managed to escape and trekked across the veld on foot.
1987 Argus 15 Jan. 1He hopes to go trekking in the Kalahari in April.
c. To undertake an onerous or inconvenient trip, especially one which the traveller believes could have been avoided.
1971 Drum Aug. 35Isaac and Rejoice have been trekking to Johannesburg almost every weekend to do their wedding shopping.
1992 C. Glyn in Natal Mercury 30 Dec. 8If John or I want to bath, we have to trek to one of the other couple’s farmhouses.
3. intransitive. To leave an area.
a. To relocate, to leave in order to settle elsewhere, formerly especially as part of a larger exodus or movement of people.
1837 J.M. Bowker Speeches & Sel. (1864) 57Those boers..complained bitterly of the manner in which he has deceived them, and wished that they had trekked sooner, before the Kafirs had left them so little to trek with.
1990 New African 18 June 13I trekked to Johannesburg in 1962 at the age of 22 and got a job as a pianist at the Dorkay House.
b. In the phr. to trek out, (especially in a military context) to strike camp and leave an area, to pull out.
1852 M.B. Hudson S. Afr. Frontier Life 152The mass of rebels..had trekked out, And had gone towards Kafirland.
1960 U. Krige (tr. of J. van Melle) in D. Wright S. Afr. Stories 129Load, and round up the oxen; trek out; trek home.
c. To go away, make off, move off.
1863 Lady Duff-Gordon in F. Galton Vacation Tourists (1864) III. 163One rich old Boer got three lunches, and then ‘trekked’ (made off) without paying at all.
1963 S. Cloete Rags of Glory 29Get your horses, kêrels. We are trekking.
4. intransitive. Of undomesticated animals: to move in large groups, especially in seasonal migrations.
1850 R.G.G. Cumming Hunter’s Life (1902) We came upon an immense, compact herd of several thousand ‘trekking’ springboks.
1989 E. Prov. Herald 18 Nov. 10An odd thing about terrapins, Dr Skead said, was that they trekked about. He had often seen them trekking across the veld.
5. intransitive. To travel constantly from place to place; to live a nomadic life.
c1851 H. James in F.C. Metrowich Valiant but Once (1956) 215Buzby ‘trekked’ with this stock.., guarding them day and night, enduring every privation for nine months.
1978 A.P. Brink Rumours of Rain 210He moved to a frontier district and became a stock farmer, which meant that he had to spend his life trekking this way and that, his wanderings determined by available pasture, the onslaught of Bushmen or predators, and rumours of rain.
6. Of farmers and livestock.
a. intransitive. To move from one grazing area to another, usually for seasonal grazing.
1867 Blue Bk for Col. 1866 JJ15Were it not for this dam, the owner would have to trek with all his stock.
1953 U. Krige Dream & Desert 107In times of drought he would trek with his sheep to find pasture.
b. transitive. To move (livestock) from one place of grazing to another.
1972 J.D. Keet in Daily Dispatch 6 May 10Long ago..farmers trekked their sheep from the Free State to the better winter grazing of the Natal lowveld.
1979 T. Gutsche There Was a Man 212They..hid their animals and trekked them secretly or at night.
7. transitive. To cover (ground, a distance, or a specific route).
1890 F. Young Winter Tour in S. Afr. 128The ground which I have myself treked.
1937 C.R. Prance Tante Rebella’s Saga 101He with his countless retinue must ‘trek the Great Thirst’ of nearly a hundred miles to Bloemfontein.
8. Fishing.
a. intransitive. To fish using a trek net (see trek noun sense 12 c) cast from a boat and pulled in from shore with the catch.
1934 Sunday Times 24 JuneLocal fisherfolk had been trekking for their fish.
1985 A. Tredgold Bay between Mountains 204Not all trek licences are held by professional fishermen; some have been given to men who trek as a sideline or just for sport.
b. transitive. To catch (fish) in this way.
1960 J. Cope Tame Ox 170How could you explain her wanting to come and trek fish with a boat-load of rough men?
9. intransitive. To draw, to infuse (as tea-leaves, etc., in liquid). See also treksel.
1945 N. Devitt People & Places 140We speak of leaving tea leaves to trek in the teapot, or of buchu leaves to trek in the brandy bottle.
10. intransitive and transitive. To pull (something).
1985 J. Scott in Sunday Times 5 May 4I pulled up and down repeatedly, for good measure, I also trekked...At the bottom is a row of knobs, each one for a different type of chocolate. I pulled and trekked them all. Once again I tried the coin return.
To pull; often used as an order to animals to begin pulling, or to pull more strongly; loop1 a.
To pull (a vehicle).
To undertake a long or arduous journey by ox-wagon (often in convoy or with a large party). Also figurative.
To undertake a long or arduous walk; to hike.
To undertake an onerous or inconvenient trip, especially one which the traveller believes could have been avoided.
To relocate, to leave in order to settle elsewhere, formerly especially as part of a larger exodus or movement of people.
to strike camp and leave an area, to pull out.
To go away, make off, move off.
Of undomesticated animals: to move in large groups, especially in seasonal migrations.
To travel constantly from place to place; to live a nomadic life.
To move from one grazing area to another, usually for seasonal grazing.
To move (livestock) from one place of grazing to another.
To cover (ground, a distance, or a specific route).
Fishing.
To fish using a trek nettreknoun12 c cast from a boat and pulled in from shore with the catch.
To catch (fish) in this way.
To draw, to infuse (as tea-leaves, etc., in liquid).
To pull (something).

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