entrench

verb

en·​trench in-ˈtrench How to pronounce entrench (audio)
en-
variants or less commonly intrench
entrenched also intrenched; entrenching also intrenching; entrenches also intrenches

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
entrenchment noun

Example Sentences

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 The Colts desperately need a player to entrench himself at left tackle, both in the short and long terms. The Indianapolis Star, 14 Oct. 2022 If anything, creating a tenuous, second-class version of pseudo-citizenship seems only to accept and entrench that reality. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 24 Oct. 2022 Congress approved the funding despite complaints from progressive Democrats that American taxpayer money is being used to exacerbate Palestinian suffering and entrench Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, 13 July 2022 Kallas said her concern is that any peace talks that take place before Russian troops are defeated would entrench Russian gains, handing President Vladimir Putin a win that could embolden him to embark on fresh conquests in the future. Liz Sly, Washington Post, 16 June 2022 Banks in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Malawi are also betting big on APIs to entrench WhatsApp banking, which is meant to make sending and receiving money as easy and fast as chatting on WhatsApp. Faustine Ngila, Quartz, 7 Oct. 2022 Public unions already dominate government in Illinois, and Democratic lawmakers now want to amend the constitution to entrench that power and block reforms. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 29 Aug. 2022 Reuters documented in 2018 how Orban channels EU development funds to his friends and family, a practice human rights organizations say has immensely enriched his inner circle and allowed the 59-year-old to entrench himself in power. Fox News, 19 Sep. 2022 The articles also show the complex confluence of challenges that drive people into homelessness and then entrench them in it. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2022 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.

Word History

First Known Use

1548, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of entrench was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near entrench

Cite this Entry

“Entrench.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrench. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

entrench

verb

en·​trench in-ˈtrench How to pronounce entrench (audio)
1
a
: to dig, place within, surround with, or occupy a trench especially for defense
b
: to establish solidly
2
: encroach sense 1
used with on or upon

More from Merriam-Webster on entrench

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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