1

trench

play
noun \ ˈtrench \

Definition of trench

1 a :a long cut in the ground :ditch; especially :one used for military defense often with the excavated dirt thrown up in front
b trenches plural :a place, position, or level at which an activity is carried on in a manner likened to trench warfare often used in the phrase in the trenches
  • activists working in the trenches
2 :a long, narrow, and usually steep-sided depression in the ocean floor — compare trough

Examples of trench in a Sentence

  1. dug a trench and filled it with water in an attempt to keep the forest fire off her property

Recent Examples of trench from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trench.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of trench

Middle English trenche track cut through a wood, from Anglo-French, act of cutting, ditch, from trencher, trenchier to cut, probably from Vulgar Latin *trinicare to cut in three, from Latin trini three each — more at trine

trench Synonyms

Synonyms
dike, fosse (or foss), gutter, sheugh [chiefly Scottish], ditch, trough
Related Words
acequia [Southwest], culvert, drain, draw, gully (also gulley), ravine; drill, furrow; ha-ha, moat, stank [British dialect], sunk fence; kennel

2

trench

verb

Definition of trench

transitive verb
1 :to make a cut in :carve
2 a :to protect with or as if with a trench
b :to cut a trench in :ditch
intransitive verb
1 a :entrench, encroach
  • trenching on other domains which were more vital
  • —Sir Winston Churchill
b :to come close :verge
2 :to dig a trench

Recent Examples of trench from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trench.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of trench

15th century



TRENCH Defined for English Language Learners

trench

play
noun

Definition of trench for English Language Learners

  • : a long, narrow hole that is dug in the ground

  • : a deep, narrow hole in the ground that is used as protection for soldiers

  • : a long, narrow hole in the ocean floor


TRENCH Defined for Kids

trench

play
noun \ ˈtrench \

Definition of trench for Students

:a long narrow ditch


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