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


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

Al Qaeda militants, meanwhile, have taken a lower profile, using regional conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen to entrench themselves. CBS News, "On 9/11, al Qaeda leader calls for attacks on U.S. and slams jihad "backtrackers"," 11 Sep. 2019 And because people should know that cruel social structures are sustained not only by outright cruelty but also by politeness and silence that entrench power. NBC News, "Writer does Twitter takedown of MIT Media Lab for taking money from Jeffrey Epstein," 6 Sep. 2019 The Giants will break in a first-round rookie quarterback, at some point, while the Redskins are entrenched in their typical dysfunction. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "NFC preview: Will new coaching staff propel Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay back to title chase?," 5 Sep. 2019 Reading The Other’s Gold tends to evoke a flood of feeling, from educational nostalgia to the reminder of how fleeting that period of time in which you are truly entrenched in the details of your friends’ lives really is. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "How Elizabeth Ames wrote The Other's Gold, your new favorite campus novel," 27 Aug. 2019 In all four cases, judges said the politicians had deprived voters of a fair and equal voice by drawing districts that entrenched one party in power. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Partisan gerrymandering is upheld by Supreme Court," 27 June 2019 Ragland entrenched himself at left tackle early in spring practice and already has the feel and maturity of a veteran. Evan Dudley, al, "‘Repping it out’: UAB offensive line remains work in progress," 13 Sep. 2019 But Evans was still entrenched as the Sounders’ resident Brad Evans-type, leaving Long to spend the year in the USL. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Aaron's Long Road: USMNT, Red Bulls Center Back's Unlikely Journey," 4 Sep. 2019 As a result, twin beds quickly entrenched themselves as a staple in American homes and remained popular long after the plague outbreak was over. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The Ballad of the Twin XL Mattress," 31 Aug. 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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Statistics for entrench

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on entrench

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with entrench

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for entrench

Spanish Central: Translation of entrench

Nglish: Translation of entrench for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entrench for Arabic Speakers

Comments on entrench

What made you want to look up entrench? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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