tres·​tle ˈtre-səl How to pronounce trestle (audio)
ˈtrə- How to pronounce trestle (audio)
variants or less commonly tressel
: a braced frame serving as a support
: a braced framework of timbers, piles, or steelwork for carrying a road or railroad over a depression

Examples of trestle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The barrel room lies under a train trestle, and every time one of BNSF Railroad’s trains pass through — some 25,000 times per year — the vibrations gently shake the barrels, which helps the sediment settle out. Amber Turpin, The Mercury News, 4 Mar. 2024 Up there, over the narrow lagoon, was the trestle where a train once carried passengers on a three-mile circuit around the park. Miami Staff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 This year, the model locomotives and boxcars chug over trestles and past models of pollinators such as giant bees, butterflies and flowers, and scenes that include a lemur pollinating a flower. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2023 To meet that demand, private companies producing sugar (and, later, pineapples) rerouted the flow from Maui’s watersheds, building concrete ditches, tunnels, pipes, flumes, siphons, and trestles across the island. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2023 The remains were found on a railroad trestle in Glades County, Florida on Feb. 1. Kerry Breen, CBS News, 6 Feb. 2024 The Ingels plan called for gates that would swing down from the elevated trestle of the FDR, an idea of almost comical impracticability (among other things, the FDR can barely support its traffic load these days, let alone many more dangling tons of steel slabs). Christopher Bonanos, Curbed, 30 Oct. 2023 Head up the East Side under the elevated FDR trestle now, and two pretty different approaches to a future Sandy are taking shape. Christopher Bonanos, Curbed, 30 Oct. 2023 Tunnel Hill Trail At the southern end of the state, the 55-mile Tunnel Hill Trail begins in Cypress, ends in Eldorado and features one dark tunnel and two dozen trestle bridges. Brian E. Clark, Chicago Tribune, 20 Sep. 2023

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

Word History


Middle English trestel, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *trastellum, from Latin transtillum, diminutive of transtrum traverse beam, from trans across — more at through entry 1

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of trestle was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near trestle

Cite this Entry

“Trestle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tres·​tle ˈtres-əl How to pronounce trestle (audio)
: a braced frame consisting usually of a horizontal piece with spreading legs at each end that supports something (as the top of a table)
: a structure of timbers or steel for carrying a road or railroad over a valley

More from Merriam-Webster on trestle

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