Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

trench

play
noun \ˈtrench\

Simple Definition of trench

  • : a long, narrow hole that is dug in the ground

  • : a deep, narrow hole in the ground that is used as protection for soldiers

  • : a long, narrow hole in the ocean floor

Full Definition of trench

  1. 1a :  a long cut in the ground :  ditch; especially :  one used for military defense often with the excavated dirt thrown up in frontb plural :  a place, position, or level at which an activity is carried on in a manner likened to trench warfare —often used in the phrase in the trenches <activists working in the trenches>

  2. 2 :  a long, narrow, and usually steep-sided depression in the ocean floor — compare trough

  3. 3 :  trench coat

Examples of trench

  1. <dug a trench and filled it with water in an attempt to keep the forest fire off her property>



Origin of trench

Middle English trenche track cut through a wood, from Anglo-French, act of cutting, ditch, from trencher, trenchier to cut, probably from Vulgar Latin *trinicare to cut in three, from Latin trini three each — more at trine


First Known Use: 15th century


2

trench

verb

Definition of trench

  • transitive verb
    1. 1 :  to make a cut in :  carve

    2. 2a :  to protect with or as if with a trenchb :  to cut a trench in :  ditch

    3. intransitive verb
    4. 1a :  entrench, encroach <trenching on other domains which were more vital — Sir Winston Churchill>b :  to come close :  verge

    5. 2 :  to dig a trench



    15th Century

    First Known Use of trench

    15th century




    Seen and Heard

    What made you want to look up trench? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

    WORD OF THE DAY

    February 13, 2016

    a trying or distressing experience

    Get Word of the Day daily email!

    WORD GAMES

    Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

    image33683556

    How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

    16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds 100 pounds
    Name That Thing

    10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    SCRABBLE® Sprint

    Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

    TAKE THE QUIZ