trench

noun
\ ˈtrench \

Definition of trench

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

trench

verb
trenched; trenching; trenches

Definition of trench (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a cut in : carve
2a : to protect with or as if with a trench
b : to cut a trench in : ditch

intransitive verb

1a : entrench, encroach trenching on other domains which were more vital— Sir Winston Churchill
b : to come close : verge
2 : to dig a trench

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Synonyms for trench

Synonyms: Noun

dike, ditch, fosse (or foss), gutter, sheugh [chiefly Scottish], trough

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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 36-year-old actress teamed the trench, with billowing sleeves, layered lapels and a huge collar, with relaxed blue jeans (likely a bargain, knowing her taste in denim), a simple satin shirt, and pointed white boots. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Priyanka Chopra and Sophia Bush Are Both Loving This Bold and Bright Yellow Trench," 28 Jan. 2019 From high-heeled platform shoes that warm freezing feet, to ruffled neo-Victorian blouses for lurking under the mistletoe, to minis, trenches, slides, and scrunchies, a pop of plaid can take the chill off gray days. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "How to Make Plaid Look Rad This Season," 25 Dec. 2018 Brackish groundwater would seep out of the walls to fill the trench, which also provided a handy way to catch rainwater. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "How did Easter Islanders survive without wells or streams?," 17 Oct. 2018 But there were some great friends and people those first few years and figuring it out together and being in the trenches together. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The One Piece of Advice The Bachelor’s Director Would Give Every Contestant," 31 Dec. 2018 That guy in the gray trench totally had a bite on his neck. Caitlin Moscatello, Redbook, "The Best Tactics to Bedbug-Proof Your House," 26 Jan. 2011 For a room addition or deck, trenches or holes are dug, then the footings or foundations are added by pouring concrete. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "How Long It Takes To Renovate Every Single Room In Your House," 26 Dec. 2018 On that day, the Duchess of Sussex paired a plaid Karen Walker Banks trench (which retails for $750) with a very affordable ASOS maternity dress that costs just $56. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's $56 ASOS Dress Is Back in Stock in Time for Christmas," 17 Dec. 2018 The bunker and trenches at the Hotel Nacional are open daily roughly 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; ask the staff to show you around. Tony Perrottet, WSJ, "A Weirdly Fascinating Cold-War Tour of Havana," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If the active layer of insulation is disturbed during construction (i.e., trenching), permafrost could be vulnerable to thermokarst and subsidence during the summer due to exposure to higher temperatures. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Army Corps releases final EIS for in-state Alaska gasline," 24 June 2018 Many of Sunoco’s problems are related to its use of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to install large sections of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which was supposed to avoid the disruptions of conventional open-trenching construction method. Andrew Maykuth, Philly.com, "Sunoco will temporarily relocate residents while it conducts pipeline sinkhole study," 2 Apr. 2018 Still in the plan is the suggestion to trench the downtown railroad tracks. Phil Diehl, sandiegouniontribune.com, "More walking, less parking in Carlsbad's latest Village-Barrio plan," 7 Feb. 2018 That idea also is being studied for Carlsbad, where a recent study estimated the cost of trenching at a minimum of $224 million, but with long-term economic benefits in the billions. Phil Diehl, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Work starts soon on Oceanside 'quiet zone'," 18 Aug. 2017 Gas lines will be relocated starting July 20 and the earth retention contractor will mobilize on the site and begin trenching the week of July 24. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale Middle School construction costs raise questions of village's share for parking deck," 17 July 2017 Over the years, human remains have been found nearby, most recently those of five individuals uncovered during trenching work last year on another project immediately across Fourth Street. Tom Lochner, The Mercury News, "Berkeley Shellmound EIR prompts call for do-over from landmarks commission," 8 Feb. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of trench

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for trench

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

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Statistics for trench

Last Updated

5 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trench

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

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More Definitions for trench

trench

noun

English Language Learners Definition of trench

: 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

noun
\ ˈtrench \

Kids Definition of trench

: a long narrow ditch

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More from Merriam-Webster on trench

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trench

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trench

Spanish Central: Translation of trench

Nglish: Translation of trench for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trench for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about trench

Comments on trench

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