Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A deep furrow or ditch.
  • n. A long narrow ditch embanked with its own soil and used for concealment and protection in warfare.
  • n. A long, steep-sided valley on the ocean floor.
  • transitive v. To cut a trench in.
  • transitive v. To fortify with trenches.
  • transitive v. To place in a trench.
  • transitive v. To make a cut in; carve.
  • intransitive v. To dig trenches or a trench.
  • intransitive v. To verge or encroach. Often used with on or upon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long, narrow ditch or hole dug in the ground, especially in warfare.
  • n. A pit, usually rectangular with smooth walls and floor, excavated during an archaeological investigation.
  • n. A trench coat.
  • v. To invade, especially with regard to the rights or the exclusive authority of another.
  • v. To excavate an elongated pit for protection of soldiers and or equipment, usually perpendicular to the line of sight toward the enemy.
  • v. To excavate an elongated and often narrow pit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To cut; to form or shape by cutting; to make by incision, hewing, or the like.
  • transitive v. To fortify by cutting a ditch, and raising a rampart or breastwork with the earth thrown out of the ditch; to intrench.
  • transitive v. To cut furrows or ditches in.
  • transitive v. To dig or cultivate very deeply, usually by digging parallel contiguous trenches in succession, filling each from the next.
  • intransitive v. To encroach; to intrench.
  • intransitive v. To have direction; to aim or tend.
  • n. A long, narrow cut in the earth; a ditch.
  • n. An alley; a narrow path or walk cut through woods, shrubbery, or the like.
  • n. An excavation made during a siege, for the purpose of covering the troops as they advance toward the besieged place. The term includes the parallels and the approaches.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut, as a notch, hole, mark, etc.; form by cutting; carve; incise.
  • To cut into; form a ditch, trench, or other linear depression in: as, to trench the ground round a camp or a fort.
  • In agriculture, to furrow deeply, especially with the spade; dig deeply and turn over thoroughly by means of a succession of contiguous trenches.
  • In cabinet-making and the like, to work with a long continuous groove, as a rail which is to be fitted upon the heads of a series of bars or balusters.
  • To cut; slash.
  • Specifically, to form a trench or trenches; proceed by or as if by means of trenches.
  • To encroach; infringe; obtrude as if by cutting into something: used of conduct, expression, or the like, usually with on or upon: as, to trench upon another's rights. Also intrench.
  • To reach out; extend; tend.
  • Synonyms Encroach upon, Infringe, etc. See trespass.
  • n. A narrow excavation of considerable length cut into the earth; a deep furrow or ditch.
  • n. A lane or road cut through shrubbery or woods.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cut a trench in, as for drainage
  • n. a long steep-sided depression in the ocean floor
  • v. cut or carve deeply into
  • v. impinge or infringe upon
  • v. dig a trench or trenches
  • v. fortify by surrounding with trenches
  • n. a ditch dug as a fortification having a parapet of the excavated earth
  • v. set, plant, or bury in a trench
  • n. any long ditch cut in the ground

Etymologies

Middle English trenche, from Old French, from trenchier, to cut, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *trincāre, variant of Latin truncāre, from truncus, trunk.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French trenchier ("cut, make a cut"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It's usually a variety of steak served with frozen vegetables and what they describe as trench fried.

    She Closed Her Eyes

  • Below the trench is a lace negligee of barbed wire, all the barbed wire the kibbutz had in 1948, and beyond that are Egyptian tanks, just where they stopped when they could go no farther.

    Zion's Vital Signs

  • So the only way that they could really construct what we call a trench would be actually what I call a fortification meaning they would have to build up.

    A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front

  • A trench is always a classic spring piece, great to have for those rainy days.

    Spring fashion: Say goodbye to the winter blahs! | Northern Belle

  • Reagan broke that pattern, but it took him a while engaged in trench warfare with the old bull Elephants.

    Never let an oil leak go to waste? | RedState

  • They would dress up like their father in trench coats and hats, several of them, and jump into several different cars and screech off in different directions to drive the CIA agents nuts, because they didnt know which one was really Anderson and which one to follow.

    Nixon's Failed Attempts At 'Poisoning The Press'

  • Second corollary: I am grateful that I could be home this morning, because they had to come inside to run another locate through the bowels under our house, after they had dug up a long trench from the road to where they thought the pipe was.

    Trench

  • Niagara Falls Company & Supervisor fined in trench ...

    Major Cuts to Niagara's Hospitals Threaten our Health

  • Yes | No | Report from s cook wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago with all due respect to clay cooper, the winchester 97, not the model 12, was used in trench warfare in wwI with devastating effects. at the beginning of wwII, hitler announced that he would torture any allied soldier caught carrying a shotgun. there is no authenticated record of any soldier ever being tortured under this directive.

    Shotguns in Combat

  • The word trench now means commonly a pit or ditch.

    Barnes New Testament Notes

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