trench

1 of 2

noun

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
3

trench

2 of 2

verb

trenched; trenching; trenches

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 vitalSir Winston Churchill
b
: to come close : verge
2
: to dig a trench

Examples of trench in a Sentence

Noun dug a trench and filled it with water in an attempt to keep the forest fire off her property
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The campaign, shot by photographer pair Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott with styling by Jacob K, finds the two wearing pieces from the new line including a leather dress and denim bustier for Hathaway, and a trench and tailored suiting on Murphy. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Apr. 2024 Less than a month later, Rihanna styled a leather trench during a date night. Averi Baudler, Peoplemag, 1 Apr. 2024 Firefighters responded around 1:10 p.m. to a trench collapse at a Cedar Hills residence where three contract laborers were doing sewer work for a homeowner, American Fork Battalion Chief Justin Whatcott told reporters. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, 27 Mar. 2024 Anyone who has seen the social-media footage of ragtag infantrymen huddled in trenches is aware that this war is being fought by two poor countries. Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, 18 Mar. 2024 Farther back are multiple sets of muddy trenches – all indications Ukraine is digging in for a long defense. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Mar. 2024 Now, as part of renovations, archaeologists in Kecskemét have excavated an approximately 160-square-foot trench — and unearthed the baby’s grave, along with a trove of other burials. Moira Ritter, Miami Herald, 7 Mar. 2024 These trench lines lack many of the additional fortifications that could help slow Russian tanks and help defend major roads and important terrain. Josh Holder, New York Times, 2 Mar. 2024 After a mandatory evacuation order, crews released vinyl chloride into a trench and burned it off – averting an explosion but spawning new health concerns. Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN, 2 Mar. 2024
Verb
The 2023 street preservation law requires higher-quality resurfacing after trenching and tighter time limits for temporary asphalt patches, which often sink and make streets uneven. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Jan. 2024 It's trenched, so there are no grade crossings, no road intersections. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 12 Sep. 2023 In a lawsuit four alleged that trenching under roads would spread contaminated groundwater. Jennifer McDermott, Fortune, 7 Dec. 2023 What happens to the Wienermobile of trenching now that Don Pemberton is stepping away from Ditch Witch? WSJ, 19 Oct. 2023 Mojave Precious Metals, a local subsidiary of K2 Gold Corp. of Vancouver, Canada, has been drilling and trenching on public lands in the area in preparation for development of a full-scale open pit mine, according to officials. Louis Sahagún, Los Angeles Times, 11 Oct. 2023 On the other hand, fiber employs optical cable trenched underground with last-mile connections made either aerially (usually from a telephone pole) or underground depending on the topography of the homes and businesses being served. Will Townsend, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2023 The timing of the project coincided with recent improvements at Foster Pool, which required trenching and partial demolition of the existing tennis court to accommodate a new waterline. John Benson, cleveland, 23 Aug. 2023 The law also requires companies to complete repairs more quickly and to do comprehensive asphalt overlays more frequently, instead of the less aggressive slurry seal fixes now typically required after trenching. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trench.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of trench was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near trench

Cite this Entry

“Trench.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trench. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

trench

noun
ˈtrench
1
a
: a long narrow cut in the ground : ditch
b
: a ditch protected by a bank of earth used to shelter soldiers
2
: a long narrow steep-sided depression in the ocean floor

More from Merriam-Webster on trench

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