trunk

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Inside the cavernous trunk, the spare tire is mounted horizontally atop the hump created by the rear axle. Vern Parker, Houston Chronicle, "1965 Buick Riviera a terrific road car," 7 Feb. 2020 There is no advantage in removing lichen by physical or chemical means from a tree trunk. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Calvin Finch: Ball moss, lichen, mistletoe. Only one is a parasite," 6 Feb. 2020 The 4Runner Trail has 17-inch dark gray TRD wheels, a Yakima LoadWarrior rooftop cargo basket, and a custom 40-quart cooler with a sliding trunk tray. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "Toyota Brings Back Trail Edition for 2021 4Runner, Tacoma, Tundra," 6 Feb. 2020 Schools across California have used the Fitnessgram since 1996 to determine how fit students are using six criteria, including aerobic ability, body mass and flexibility, as well as abdominal, trunk and upper body strength. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "Gavin Newsom wants to suspend ‘body-shaming,’‘bullying’fitness test in schools," 4 Feb. 2020 The cases come in a variety of sizes, from smaller cubes (50 liters) up to trunk cases (255 liters). Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "The Best New Waterfowl Gear at SHOT Show 2020," 21 Jan. 2020 After coasting to the highest point of its arcing flight, the Crew Dragon trunk will separate, and the capsule will orient itself for a return to Earth. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX delays Crew Dragon escape test until Sunday [Updated]," 18 Jan. 2020 High above the cardamom stood old trees whose mossy trunks and craggy branches soared hundreds of feet in the air. National Geographic, "This Vietnamese national park is a spice lover’s dream," 18 Jan. 2020 After years of selective stem cutting, my jade plant has developed two thick trunks that give it the appearance of a venerable tree in miniature. NBC News, "Kill all your plants? These low-maintenance options require minimal watering," 14 Jan. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about trunk

Time Traveler for trunk

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for trunk

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trunk. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for trunk

trunk

noun
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

trunk

noun
\ 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

trunk

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on trunk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trunk

Spanish Central: Translation of trunk

Nglish: Translation of trunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trunk for Arabic Speakers

Comments on trunk

What made you want to look up trunk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!