\ 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

Other Words from trunk

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

Synonyms for trunk


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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 There are large black spots on the trunk, plus some kind of disease. oregonlive, 27 Mar. 2022 Mulch should never be piled up on the trunk of a tree. Chris Mckeown, The Enquirer, 26 Mar. 2022 The birds, native to China, kept swapping places on the trunk when Guo snapped the shot at the Lishan Nature Reserve in Shanxi Province. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Feb. 2022 The team has focused on the trunk and legs, so people without use of their arms or hands would not benefit. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 8 Feb. 2022 A couple of minutes later, Jones pulled out a gun and set it on a nearby vehicle's trunk. Ryan Martin, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Feb. 2022 As if the situation weren’t dire enough, two rats, one black and one white, are gnawing on the trunk. Hari Kunzru, Harper’s Magazine , 4 Jan. 2022 So many fantastic particle effects, which all appear realistically on the car's trunk thanks to the demo's ray-tracing capabilities. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 9 Dec. 2021 These scale insects may be found anywhere on the trunk and foliage. Tom Maccubbin,, 27 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near trunk

Trung Cha



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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trunk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for trunk


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on trunk

Nglish: Translation of trunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trunk for Arabic Speakers


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