\ 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 The remnants had no monetary value and would only fill one-third of a vehicle’s trunk, Sher said. Kelly Busche, Twin Cities, "Synagogue’s fire-damaged Torah scrolls burn again after Duluth garage blaze," 19 Nov. 2019 These custom tree trunk stools and bamboo side tables were created by Hill & Velez, a talented design couple out of Jersey City. Bailey Li, Essence, "Shop The Story: Interior Designer Bailey Li Curates A Few of Her Favorite Things," 19 Nov. 2019 As the woman continues to watch in horror from her home, a white car is seen racing down the street with the trunk open. Robyn Merrett,, "Police Investigating Possible Kidnapping After Woman's Terrifying Screams Are Caught on Camera," 15 Nov. 2019 The rear seat splits and folds, and a large trunk makes for good stowage. Sue Mead, Houston Chronicle, "2020 Hyundai Sonata upgraded with a more striking design, new body architecture," 15 Nov. 2019 Mahogany and gumbo limbo trees with 20-inch diameter trunks at chest height remove about 80 pounds of carbon per year. Kimberly Miller,, "Oaks instead of palm trees? Florida’s iconic palms don’t cut it with climate change," 14 Nov. 2019 The various images also showed that the box moved or was repositioned in the trunk between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Kelsey Berreth murder case: Patrick Frazee’s brother — who is a Colorado police officer — takes stand in murder trial," 5 Nov. 2019 As Naomi Rea reports for artnet News, three suspects battered their way through the cathedral’s old wooden door using a tree trunk strapped to the front of a car. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Thieves Ram Into Medieval French Cathedral, Making Off With Trove of Relics," 5 Nov. 2019 Check tree trunks, but also anything else outdoors, including vehicles, especially those that have been in Pennsylvania. Ellen Nibali,, "Garden Q&A: On alert for the spotted lanternfly and what’s wrong with the holly," 31 Oct. 2019

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

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Trunk.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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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

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).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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