Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The main woody axis of a tree.
  • noun Architecture The shaft of a column.
  • noun The body of a human or other vertebrate, excluding the head and limbs.
  • noun The thorax of an insect.
  • noun A proboscis, especially the long prehensile proboscis of an elephant.
  • noun A main body, apart from tributaries or appendages.
  • noun The main stem of a blood vessel or nerve apart from the branches.
  • noun A trunk line.
  • noun A chute or conduit.
  • noun A watertight shaft connecting two or more decks.
  • noun The housing for the centerboard of a vessel.
  • noun Nautical Any of certain structures projecting above part of a main deck, as.
  • noun A covering over the hatches of a ship.
  • noun An expansion chamber on a tanker.
  • noun A cabin on a small boat.
  • noun A covered compartment for luggage and storage, generally at the rear of an automobile.
  • noun A large packing case or box that clasps shut, used as luggage or for storage.
  • noun Shorts worn for swimming or other athletics.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The woody stem of a tree, from which the branches spring.
  • noun In architecture, the shaft of a column; the part between the base and the capital. The term is sometimes used to signify the die or body of a pedestal. See cut under column.
  • noun The main part or stem of a branching organ or system of organs, considered apart from its ramifications: as, the trunk of an artery, a vein, or a nerve; the trunk of a zoöphyte or coral. Also truncus.
  • noun The human body or that of an animal without the head and limbs, and, in animals, the tail, or considered apart from these; in literary use, the body.
  • noun A receptacle with stiff sides and a hinged cover or upper part, used especially for carrying clothes, toilet articles, etc., for a journey.
  • noun In fishing, an iron hoop with a bag, used to catch crustaceans.
  • noun A tube of various kinds and uses.
  • noun A telescope.
  • noun A pea- or bean-shooter; a long tube through which peas, pellets, etc., were driven by the force of the breath.
  • noun A boxed passage for air to or from a blast-apparatus or blowing-engine; an air-shaft.
  • noun A boxed passage up or down which grain or flour is conveyed in an elevator or mill.
  • noun A box-tube used to send attle or rubbish out of a mine, or to convey coal to a wagon or heap, broken quartz from a mill to the stamps, etc.
  • noun A long, narrow trough which was formerly used in Cornwall in dressing copper- and tin-slimes.
  • noun A wooden box or pipe of square section in which air is conveyed in a mine.
  • noun A kibble.
  • noun A trough to convey water from a race to a water-wheel, etc.; a flume; a penstock.
  • noun In trunk-engines, a section of pipe attached to a piston and moving longitudinally with it, its diameter being sufficient to allow one end of the connecting-rod to be attached to the crank and the other end directly to the piston, thus dispensing with an intermediate rod: used in marine engines for driving propellers, also in some stationary steam-engines, and extensively in caloric engines.
  • noun A proboscis; a long snout; especially, the proboscis of the elephant; less frequently, the proboscis of other animals, as butterflies, flies, mosquitos and other gnats, and certain mollusks and worms. See the applications of proboscis.
  • noun plural Trunk-hose.
  • noun In hat-manuf., the tube or directing passage in a machine for forming the bodies of hats, which confines the air-currents, and guides the fibers of fur from the picker to the cone.
  • noun plural Same as troll-madam or pigeonholes.
  • To lop off; curtail; truncate.
  • To separate, as tin or copper ore, from the worthless veinstone, by the use of the trunk.
  • noun A long conduit or system with grids through which cotton is forced to be cleared of dust and refuse in its passage from the opener to the scutcher or picker.
  • noun In ship-building, a large inclosed duct or passage through the decks or bulkheads of a vessel for coaling, ventilation, passing ammunition, etc.
  • noun A trunk-line.
  • Chief; main; principal: as, the trunk mains of a system of water or gas distribution; a trunk railway line.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English trunke, from Old French tronc, from Latin truncus; see terə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English trunke, from Old French tronc ("alms box, tree trunk, headless body"), from Latin truncus ("a stock, lopped tree trunk"), from truncus ("cut off, maimed, mutilated"). For the verb, compare French tronquer, and see truncate.

Examples

  • As I said before, the elephant's trunk is its nose -- that is, the elephant has to _breathe through the trunk_.

    The Wonders of the Jungle Book One

  • Not content with stripping the tree of its branches, the old tusker seized hold of its trunk -- lapping his own _trunk_ as far as he could around it -- and commenced tugging at it, as if he had hopes of being able to drag it up by the roots.

    The Cliff Climbers A Sequel to "The Plant Hunters"

  • “The word trunk is really out of date,” the designer Bill Blass, who has been doing these shows for forty years, tells me.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • “The word trunk is really out of date,” the designer Bill Blass, who has been doing these shows for forty years, tells me.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • “The word trunk is really out of date,” the designer Bill Blass, who has been doing these shows for forty years, tells me.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • “The word trunk is really out of date,” the designer Bill Blass, who has been doing these shows for forty years, tells me.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • The circumference of the trunk is an amazing 54 meters (178 feet) It is over 40 meters (130 feet) high, boasts a foliage diameter of over 51 meters (170 feet), and weighs over 500 tons.

    El Arbol de Tule: probably the biggest tree in the world

  • The circumference of the trunk is an amazing 54 meters (178 feet) It is over 40 meters (130 feet) high, boasts a foliage diameter of over 51 meters (170 feet), and weighs over 500 tons.

    El Arbol de Tule: probably the biggest tree in the world

  • The circumference of the trunk is an amazing 54 meters (178 feet) It is over 40 meters (130 feet) high, boasts a foliage diameter of over 51 meters (170 feet), and weighs over 500 tons.

    El Arbol de Tule: probably the biggest tree in the world

  • This upper part is what we call the trunk, which reaches from the mouth to the vent.

    On the Parts of Animals

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.