\ ˈtrench How to pronounce trench (audio) \

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 trenchesactivists working in the trenches
2 : a long, narrow, and usually steep-sided depression in the ocean floor — compare trough


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

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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 From the famous puffer jacket to trench coats and really great teddybear pullovers, the best Amazon Prime Day clothing deals might just lie in this category. Erin Parker, Glamour, "Best Amazon Prime Day Deals 2020: 47 Fashion Deals to Snatch Up Immediately," 13 Oct. 2020 Supernatural exists in a world where angels rock trench coats, demons roam freely, and that thing in your kids closet? Samantha Highfill,, "Supernatural Send-off: 'The Benders' remains one of the show's greatest twists," 5 Oct. 2020 The belted trench comes in a beautiful lavender or sunny marigold with a detachable hood. Sarai Thompson, CNN Underscored, "Prepare for stormy days ahead with this stylish rain gear," 2 Oct. 2020 Her leather trench detailed with metal rings would have been appealing on its own, but paired with Agolde's jet black jeans, spiked stilettos, and a wealth of gold necklaces from Fallon and the understated coat became a statement piece. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Hailey Bieber Has Mastered 2020 Street Style," 28 Sep. 2020 The couple both wore bold black trench coats and circle shades while stepping out of Hadid's New York City apartment. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything We Know About Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik's Relationship," 24 Sep. 2020 Gaga wore a black vinyl trench, pairing it with a pink hoodie that looks similar to some of her new merch pieces. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Lady Gaga Busts Out an Extreme Look to Run Errands In," 22 Sep. 2020 Hallmarks of Burberry's aesthetic — slick tailoring, timeless trench coats, and heritage fabrics — blended seamlessly with Tisci's contemporary DNA: bold monochrome, futuristic leather, and nods to streetwear via hoodies and joggers. Georgia Murray,, "Bella Hadid, Erykah Badu & Rosalía Hosted Burberry’s Runway Show," 17 Sep. 2020 Then, as the box was pushed into the side of Goldenrod’s elevated base, a pair backhoes got busy digging a trench immediately in front of the oncoming box. Kevin Spear,, "Brightline’s track construction pushes train tunnel under Orlando’s Goldenrod Road," 17 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For those not in the know, a hazel hoe is used to trench and clear the area, while a sawyer is a person trained to down limbs and trees during wildfires. Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, "Exhausted firefighters sing together after a 14-hour shift battling wildfires in Oregon," 16 Sep. 2020 In the first part, the park district will trench along the edge of the trail and add a fabric barrier system to ensure tree roots don’t impact the trail, a news release said., "Naperville News Digest: Riverway Trail closures planned, outdoor movies at Naper Settlement, Ribfest donors get special face masks," 14 Aug. 2020 The institute studied five non-mechanized methods for growing potatoes – trenching, newspaper mulch, potato tower, container bag and straw mulch – and Johnson wrote about the research for Mother Earth News. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Which potato salad will show up at your picnic? There's a world of variations," 22 May 2020 The elocution is a vocal step away from the original literary character, Victorian English Doctor John Dolittle, originally concocted by author Hugh Lofting while serving in the World War I trenches with the British army. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Dolittle': Why Robert Downey Jr. dares to talk to the animals ... with a Welsh accent," 15 Jan. 2020 And yet, canonically speaking, there are still multiple Death Star trenches. James Hibberd,, "1977 Star Wars scene changed in one key way during filming," 21 Nov. 2019 Haphazardly established in the 1960s, the massive garbage pile was never trenched or lined, and no one knows what might be leaking from the dump into the ground. New York Times, "Why Is a Secretive Billionaire Buying Up the Cayman Islands?," 18 Oct. 2019 The estimated cost of trenching the railroad tracks is $441 million. Melissa Yeager, azcentral, "Sky Harbor Airport's $5.7 billion, 20-year plan: Double the capacity, add 'bus gates'," 7 Jan. 2019 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

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


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


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

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for trench

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for trench

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trench.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for trench


How to pronounce trench (audio)

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


\ ˈtrench How to pronounce trench (audio) \

Kids Definition of trench

: a long narrow ditch

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