en·trench | \ in-ˈtrench , en- \
variants: or less commonly \in-ˈtrench \
entrenched also intrenched; entrenching also intrenching; entrenches also intrenches

Definition of entrench 

transitive verb

1a : to place within or surround with a trench especially for defense

b : to place (oneself) in a strong defensive position

c : to establish solidly entrenched themselves in the business

2 : to cut into : furrow specifically : to erode downward so as to form a trench

intransitive verb

1 : to dig or occupy a trench for defensive purposes

2 : to enter upon or take over something unfairly, improperly, or unlawfully : encroach used with on or upon

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Other words from entrench

entrenchment \in-ˈtrench-mənt, en- \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for entrench


bed, embed (also imbed), enroot, fix, impact, implant, ingrain (also engrain), lodge, root


dislodge, root (out), uproot

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Examples of entrench in a Sentence

officials who have tried to entrench themselves in office a father who entrenched in our minds the belief that hard work pays off

Recent Examples on the Web

Many of Kennedy’s major 5-4 votes helped entrench the Republican Party’s political power. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Anthony Kennedy’s Great Legacy: His Exit," 27 June 2018 But another person familiar with the Cabinet debate said some of the work done by those groups -- including trips to the Irish border -- has only served to entrench the deadlock. Alex Morales, Bloomberg.com, "May’s Brexit War Cabinet Remains Stalled on Customs," 24 May 2018 Yet those who are entrenched in their extreme positions often portray it as surrender or a sellout. Naperville Sun, "Letters to the Editor: Time for moderate views to take center stage, too many anti-Trump opinions in paper, more," 6 July 2018 Yet, for fans intimately entrenched in the trio’s icy remove and Euro-centric soundscapes, Depeche Mode has always had its socio-political agenda. A.d. Amorosi, Philly.com, "Depeche Mode don't think their music can change the world. That won't stop them from trying," 29 May 2018 But Israel has also laid out its own red lines, including not allowing the transfer of high-powered weapons to Hezbollah; any breach of Israeli sovereignty; and working to prevent Iran from entrenching itself in Syria. Barbara Starr, CNN, "US steps up surveillance of Iranian assets in Syria over concerns of strike against Israel," 26 Apr. 2018 Even with Jordan Howard rightfully entrenched as the Bears’ primary runner, Cohen is going to have plenty opportunity as both back and receiver this season. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Fantasy Football 2018 Breakouts: Can Patrick Mahomes Make the Leap?," 3 July 2018 While Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson are rightly entrenched as the starters, the bet here is that the Ravens will look for ways to get young safeties Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott on the field in the right situations. Jeff Zrebiec, baltimoresun.com, "Observations and opinions off of Ravens' first open organized team activity," 25 May 2018 The new justice has the potential to entrench conservative control of the Supreme Court for years to come. BostonGlobe.com, "Waltham native is on Trump’s short list for Supreme Court," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'entrench.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of entrench

1548, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for entrench

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for entrench

The first known use of entrench was in 1548

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English Language Learners Definition of entrench

: to place (someone or something) in a very strong position that cannot easily be changed

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Comments on entrench

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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