\ ˈtrəŋk How to pronounce trunk (audio) \

Definition of trunk

1a : the main stem of a tree apart from limbs and roots

called also bole

b(1) : the human or animal body apart from the head, neck, and appendages : torso
(2) : the thorax of an insect
c : the central part of anything specifically : the shaft of a column or pilaster
2a(1) : a large rigid piece of luggage used usually for transporting clothing and personal effects
(2) : the luggage compartment of an automobile
b(1) : a superstructure over a ship's hatches usually level with the poop deck
(2) : the part of the cabin of a boat projecting above the deck
(3) : the housing for a centerboard or rudder
3 : proboscis especially : the long muscular proboscis of the elephant
4 trunks plural : men's shorts worn chiefly for sports swimming trunks
5a : a usually major channel or passage (such as a chute or shaft)
b : a circuit between two telephone exchanges for making connections between subscribers broadly : a usually electronic path over which information is transmitted (as between computer systems)
6a : the principal channel or main body of a system or part that divides into branches a nerve trunk the trunk of a river

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Other Words from trunk

trunkful \ ˈtrənk-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce trunkful (audio) \ noun

Examples of trunk in a Sentence

the trunk of an artery threw the rest of her books and tapes in the trunk and closed the lid
Recent Examples on the Web Donations will be removed from trunk of your vehicle at first station. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, "Things to do in Cincinnati this week: Oct. 26-Nov. 1," 25 Oct. 2020 For trees and shrubs, the layer should be 3 to 4 inches deep and extend at least 3 feet out from the trunk, or wider if possible. Beth Botts,, "Landscape fabric can do more harm than good under mulch in your garden. Here’s a better, cheaper alternative to try.," 26 Sep. 2020 The Bagleys pleaded for their lives from the trunk. Michael Tarm, Star Tribune, "Lawyer: Case of Black inmate set to die reveals racial bias," 23 Sep. 2020 Alarik, a former Army drill sergeant, started selling patriotic and military-themed t-shirts from the trunk of his car. Brandon Lingle,, "Founder of San Antonio’s Grunt Style, military-themed clothing brand, says he was ousted," 22 Sep. 2020 Donors need not leave their cars because volunteers will take donations from the trunk or back seat of their vehicles. Carol Kovach, cleveland, "Drive-thru diaper drive event set for Sept. 26 in Parma Heights: Sun Postings," 21 Sep. 2020 Consider adding a 3-inch deep mulch of wood chips, extending from the trunk to a foot beyond the dripline. oregonlive, "Wildfire ash and smoke leave Oregon gardeners with questions: Ask an expert," 19 Sep. 2020 And though no different from the coupe, the LC500 Convertible's trunk lid and inner door panels are made from pressed carbon fiber. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "Lexus’ new 2021 LC500 Convertible puts on the pretty," 14 Sep. 2020 One man distributed water bottles from the trunk of his car. Rania Abouzeid, National Geographic, "Why must every Lebanese generation endure violent chaos—and its aftermath?," 26 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trunk.' 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 trunk

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

History and Etymology for trunk

Middle English trunke Anglo-French trunc, trunke, from Latin truncus trunk, torso

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Time Traveler for trunk

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for trunk

Last Updated

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trunk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for trunk


How to pronounce trunk (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of trunk

: the thick main stem of a tree
: the main part of the human body not including the head, arms, and legs
: the main or central part of something


\ ˈtrəŋk How to pronounce trunk (audio) \

Kids Definition of trunk

1 : the thick main stem of a tree not including the branches and roots
2 : a box or chest for holding clothes or other articles especially for traveling
3 : the enclosed space in the rear of an automobile for carrying articles
4 : the long round muscular nose of an elephant
5 trunks plural : a swimsuit for a man or boy
6 : the body of a person or animal not including the head, arms, and legs


\ ˈtrəŋk How to pronounce trunk (audio) \

Medical Definition of trunk

1 : the human body apart from the head and appendages : torso
2 : the main body of an anatomical part (as a nerve or blood vessel) that divides into branches

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