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

Afghanistan’s previous regime helped entrench the current disorder. Javid Ahmad, WSJ, "The Mafia That Threatens Afghanistan," 19 Sep. 2018 Coupled with strong economic growth, Erdogan’s electoral strategy has managed to deeply entrench polarization in Turkey. Soner Cagaptay, Time, "Four Things to Watch in Turkey's Elections," 21 June 2018 Dylan Black, the New Jersey high-school student who created the online petition, worries that the change threatens to further entrench in Americans’ minds a Eurocentric worldview. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The Controversy Over Just How Much History AP World History Should Cover," 13 June 2018 Xi already has entrenched the party more deeply into China's economy, military and universities, and sought to minimize dissent. Jonathan Kaiman, latimes.com, "With Xi in office for the long haul, China touts its stability — 'the opposite of Washington, D.C.'," 20 Mar. 2018 The scheduled hitter against the Indians southpaw was Tony Kemp — the speedy, lefthanded, contact-crazy hitter who has entrenched himself as an everyday player in the nine games since his call-up. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "J.D. Davis striving to make the most of limited opportunities with Astros," 26 May 2018 The next season, with Durant, Westbrook and Harden entrenched as the league’s most promising young core, Oklahoma City dug out of an 0-2 series hole in the conference finals to beat San Antonio in six games. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘War on the practice court’ shaped Kevin Durant, James Harden into MVPs," 12 May 2018 The heat The heat dome entrenched over much of the Lower 48 states promises to send temperatures soaring into the low to mid-90s. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "July 4 preview: Hot and oppressively humid with a small chance of storms," 29 June 2018 Program’s next — maybe last — step is entrenching culture that has endured last 6-7 years. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "IU baseball coach Chris Lemonis hired by Mississippi State according to reports," 25 June 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

15 Nov 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

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a private place of worship

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