\ 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 Cut close to the remaining branches or to the main trunk to discourage new shoots. Neil Sperry,, "Neil Sperry: Liriope can suddenly succumb to rot," 25 June 2020 Ever watched one of those sweet car chase and shootout scenes in a movie that ends with bullet holes decorating the trunk of the escaping hero's Aston Martin? Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "The Wildest Truck Accessories That Drive Us Nuts," 20 June 2020 As recently as the 1980s, millions of adult saiga—known for their comical, trunk-like noses—roamed the Ustyurt Plateau. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "Floppy-nosed antelope has baby boom, raising hope for critically endangered species," 19 June 2020 The plan calls for minimal contact between staff and patrons, with materials placed in the trunk of a patron's vehicle in the library parking lots. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how reopened city halls, libraries will look in metro Detroit," 15 June 2020 That location preserves trunk space at a useful 16.0 cubic feet. cleveland, "2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features," 6 June 2020 Tensions between Pavlic and Moralez boiled over during the April confrontation outside a Cudahy fire station where, according to a police report, Moralez shoved Pavlic against the trunk of the mayor's car. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cudahy mayor tries and fails twice to get a restraining order against the alderman who fought with him," 5 June 2020 Items must be in the trunk of a car or SUV or the bed of a pickup truck, presorted and ready for collection. David Ibata, ajc, "Roswell expands recycling hours, restarts bulky pickups," 2 June 2020 Drill a hole in a maple trunk in February or March to collect the sap for drinking water and sweet syrup production. Popular Science, "Eight survival knife skills you might need in an emergency," 15 June 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

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trunk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 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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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

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