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

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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 Further, these laws could entrench extended minority rule, violating the basic and longstanding democratic principle that parties that get the most votes should win elections. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 16 June 2021 Some people object to what is being perceived as an attempt by Iran's clerical rulers to further entrench their power, despite the public's calls for reforms. Cnn Staff, CNN, 18 June 2021 Lawmakers are aiming to rein in dominant tech companies that critics say are abusing their power over digital markets to entrench their positions and thwart competition. BostonGlobe.com, 11 June 2021 According to Diana Buttu, a former adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Netanyahu has worked throughout his time in office to entrench policies that would be hard to reverse. Saphora Smith, NBC News, 13 June 2021 Marshall helped entrench it in the early U.S., but tampering politically with the Supreme Court could undo that achievement. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 23 May 2021 Alabama voters have approved an amendment that would begin the process of deleting racist language from the state's 119-year-old constitution, which was approved to entrench white supremacy as state law during the Jim Crow era. Jay Reeves, Star Tribune, 4 Nov. 2020 Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, neither signed beyond 2021, don't have long to entrench themselves as the heir apparent. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 16 Apr. 2021 That division, public-health experts warn, could entrench inequalities and dissuade vaccine-hesitant populations precisely when governments need to shore up their confidence. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, 7 Apr. 2021

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

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The first known use of entrench was in 1548

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Dictionary Entries Near entrench



entrenched meander

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Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Entrench.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrench. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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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

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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