trunk

noun
\ ˈtrəŋk \

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 \ noun

Synonyms for trunk

Synonyms

bin, box, caddy, case, casket, chest, locker

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Mostly Turkish or Kurdish-run, around 20,000 kebab shops are scattered across the U.K. in total—all easily identifiable, thanks to the trunk of meat that slowly revolves on a skewer in the window. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Love Letter To The Döner Kebab," 1 Oct. 2018 Police could smell marijuana in the car and found a pipe with residue in her purse and a bong, also with residue, in the car’s trunk. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "More than 900 prescription pills missing from residents at Cedarburg assisted living facility," 1 Mar. 2018 Aluminum travel trunks are one of RIMOWA's biggest claims to fame, sold now for 82 years in various iterations. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "RIMOWA's New Pop-Up Is One More Reason to Visit Aspen This Winter," 20 Dec. 2018 Raise the tree a few inches, then push the trunk into the ground. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh Longer," 18 Dec. 2018 The Cassina chaise longue is from Design Within Reach, the Louis Vuitton trunk is vintage, and the wallpaper is by House of Hackney. Sara Ruffin Costello, ELLE Decor, "A New Orleans Manse is Given New Life with a Fashionable Pizzazz," 26 Oct. 2018 There are no signs of bugs, holes in the trunk or leaf spots. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: Be wary of the 'bathtub effect'," 12 July 2018 The Rear Auto-Leveling Suspension automatically adjusts to maintain optimum ride height with cargo in the trunk or a trailer on tow. star-telegram, "Infiniti QX80 full-size luxury SUV brings elegance, technology to the family hauler," 30 June 2018 The roommate discovered the victim’s body in the trunk and called police, the arrest report said. Lisa Maria Garza, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Ocala man strangled Marion County woman with phone cord, hid her in trunk, deputies say," 3 June 2018

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

Statistics for trunk

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trunk

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for trunk

trunk

noun

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 \

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 \

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

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!