en·​trench | \ in-ˈtrench How to pronounce entrench (audio) , en- \
variants: or less commonly \ in-​ˈtrench How to pronounce entrench (audio) \
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

Other Words from entrench

entrenchment \ in-​ˈtrench-​mənt How to pronounce entrench (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for entrench



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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 This will be politically difficult but would entrench the higher defense budget. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 8 May 2022 In fact, our very mechanisms for change at the macro level seem only to entrench the status quo. World Economic Forum, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 First, Democratic voters should continue to press for national voting-rights reform that restricts partisans’ power to entrench themselves in office. Duncan Hosie, WSJ, 6 Feb. 2022 Cable news, talk radio, and social media often entrench it. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Oct. 2021 And when combined with state-level partisan gerrymanders that often entrench one party’s control of the state legislature, adopting the ISL theory could further harden many states into effective one-party rule. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 9 Mar. 2022 In 2019, a 5-4 Supreme Court found that the U.S. Constitution provides no remedy for partisan gerrymanders that entrench the ruling party’s power by artful distribution of voters into districts. Jess Bravin, WSJ, 8 Mar. 2022 That proliferation of counter-majoritarian institutions like partisan gerrymandering ensures that state governments are able to entrench their will upon future majorities of voters who wish to reverse their policies. Saoirse Gowan, The Week, 9 Mar. 2022 In fact, authoritarian regimes are often able to hijack these sorts of international institutions -- and the very language of freedom -- in order to further entrench their power. Leopoldo López And Uriel Epshtein, CNN, 9 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of entrench

1548, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for entrench

Time Traveler

The first known use of entrench was in 1548

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Dictionary Entries Near entrench



entrenched meander

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Statistics for entrench

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Entrench.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrench. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on entrench

Nglish: Translation of entrench for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entrench for Arabic Speakers


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