Track record

Track record is an idiom that is decades old. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom track record, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A track record is the history of achievements, or lack of achievements, performed by a person, business, or institution. For instance, a successful business has a good track record; a man who has a history of treating women badly has a bad track record. The expression track record came into use in the 1940s, but its popularity soared in the 1970s. The term is derived from the sport of horse racing and refers to the record of wins and losses kept for each horse.


We are fortunate to have a candidate with all of the qualifications of a strong and capable mayor, as well as a proven track record for getting things done. (Transylvania Times)

However, that is limited to on the basketball court only, given his track record of holding front office jobs. (International Business Times)

Scotland is proud of its track record on inventions and discoveries, and to the lists printed on many a tea towel can now be added one worthy of a Nobel Prize. (The Scotsman)

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