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

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Other Words from entrench

entrenchment \ in-​ˈtrench-​mənt How to pronounce entrenchment (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 Most important, the change to pass/fail does nothing to resolve the racial and systemic inequities entrenched in the residency application process. Anna Goshua, STAT, "Cheers and jeers as med school’s Step 1 test becomes pass/fail," 14 Feb. 2020 The Wings ended a nine-game winless skid Thursday at Buffalo, but are entrenched at the bottom of the NHL standings with a 13-39-4 record. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings mailbag: Steve Yzerman's options at trade deadline," 9 Feb. 2020 After the 2010 midterms, however, Republican state lawmakers across the country redrew state and congressional legislative maps in ways that sought to permanently entrench themselves in power, even if the electorate disagreed. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "John Roberts: Bemused Spectator of American Democracy," 3 Jan. 2020 Those concerns are widely shared, even among breeders of some of America’s most prolific stallions, but the financial stakes are significant, and the opposition is entrenched. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Prolific Spendthrift stallion also qualifies as a cash cow, but at what cost to the breed?," 26 Dec. 2019 Google’s leaders have acknowledged the delicacy of adjusting a culture that has entrenched itself over two decades. Ryan Gallagher, Fortune, "With Transparency Declining at Google, Internal Conflict Is on the Rise," 14 Dec. 2019 Checkpoints were erected in each of the four entrances to Tahrir Square, where many demonstrators have entrenched themselves by erecting tents and refusing to leave. BostonGlobe.com, "BAGHDAD — An antigovernment protester in Iraq was killed Sunday by a direct hit to the head from a tear gas cannister amid fresh clashes on a strategic Baghdad bridge, security and medical officials said.," 18 Nov. 2019 Before entrenching herself as the Huskies’ setter, Eshoo served her way onto the varsity squad. Jon J. Kerr, chicagotribune.com, "Kaiya Eshoo helps Kati Kaburov break all-time Hersey kills record," 5 Oct. 2019 Here was President Obama, who had run for office as a critic of the Bush administration’s extraordinary invocations of executive power, not just continuing his predecessor’s surveillance programs but entrenching them. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "In Edward Snowden’s New Memoir, the Disclosures This Time Are Personal," 13 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for entrench

Time Traveler

The first known use of entrench was in 1548

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Statistics for entrench

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Entrench.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrench. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for entrench


How to pronounce entrench (audio)

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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