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

  • noun Medicine A supportive device, usually a pad with a belt, worn to prevent enlargement of a hernia or the return of a reduced hernia.
  • noun A rigid framework, as of wooden beams or metal bars, designed to support a structure, such as a roof.
  • noun An architectural bracket.
  • noun Something gathered into a bundle; a pack.
  • noun Nautical An iron fitting by which a lower yard is secured to a mast.
  • noun Botany A compact cluster of flowers at the end of a stalk.
  • transitive verb To tie up or bind tightly.
  • transitive verb To bind or skewer the wings or legs of (a fowl) before cooking.
  • transitive verb To support or brace with a truss.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To tie up; pack in a bundle; bundle: often with up.
  • To tie, bind, or fasten: sometimes with up.
  • Specifically, to adjust and draw closely the garment or garments of, as a person; also, to draw tight and tie, as laces or points.
  • To seize and hold firmly; seize and carry off: said especially of birds of prey.
  • To make fast, as the wings of a fowl to the body preparatory to cooking it; skewer.
  • To hang: usually with up.
  • In building, to furnish with a truss; suspend or support by a truss.
  • To drive off; rout.
  • To pack; make ready.
  • To go; be off; begone, as one who has been sent packing.
  • Bunchy; stumpy; stocky; round and thick.
  • noun A bundle; pack.
  • noun Specifically A bundle of hay or straw.
  • noun In horticulture, a compact terminal flower-cluster of any kind, as an umbel, corymb, or spike.
  • noun In surgery, an appliance consisting of a belt or an elastic steel spring encircling the body, to which is attached a pad, used in cases of rupture to hinder the descent of the parts, or to prevent an increase in size of an irreducible hernia.
  • noun A garment worn in the sixteenth century and previously: probably so called from being laced closely to the person.
  • noun plural Trousers; tight-fitting drawers. See trouse, trousers.
  • noun In building, a stiff frame; a combination of timbers, of iron parts, or of timbers and ironwork, so arranged as to constitute an unyielding frame.
  • noun In architecture, a large corbel or modillion supporting a mural monument or any object projecting from the face of a wall. See crosset, 1 , with cut.
  • noun In ship-building, a short piece of carved work fitted under the taffrail: chiefly used in small ships.
  • noun A heavy iron fitting by which the lower yards of vessels are secured to the lower mast and on which they swing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A bundle; a package.
  • noun obsolete A padded jacket or dress worn under armor, to protect the body from the effects of friction; also, a part of a woman's dress; a stomacher.
  • noun (Surg.) A bandage or apparatus used in cases of hernia, to keep up the reduced parts and hinder further protrusion, and for other purposes.
  • noun (Bot.) A tuft of flowers formed at the top of the main stalk, or stem, of certain plants.
  • noun (Naut.) The rope or iron used to keep the center of a yard to the mast.
  • noun (Arch. & Engin.) An assemblage of members of wood or metal, supported at two points, and arranged to transmit pressure vertically to those points, with the least possible strain across the length of any member. Architectural trusses when left visible, as in open timber roofs, often contain members not needed for construction, or are built with greater massiveness than is requisite, or are composed in unscientific ways in accordance with the exigencies of style.
  • noun a rod which forms the tension member of a trussed beam, or a tie rod in a truss.
  • transitive verb To bind or pack close; to tie up tightly; to make into a truss.
  • transitive verb obsolete To take fast hold of; to seize and hold firmly; to pounce upon.
  • transitive verb To strengthen or stiffen, as a beam or girder, by means of a brace or braces.
  • transitive verb To skewer; to make fast, as the wings of a fowl to the body in cooking it.
  • transitive verb Slang. To execute by hanging; to hang; -- usually with up.
  • transitive verb [Obs.] to adjust and fasten the clothing of; especially, to draw tight and tie the laces of garments.
  • transitive verb to strain; to make close or tight.
  • transitive verb a beam which is stiffened by a system of braces constituting a truss of which the beam is a chord.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A bandage and belt used to hold a hernia in place.
  • noun architecture A structure made up of one or more triangular units made from straight beams of wood or metal, which is used to support a structure as in a roof or bridge.
  • noun architecture A triangular bracket.


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

[Middle English trusse, bundle, from Old French trousse, from torser, trousser, to truss, possibly from Vulgar Latin *torsāre, from *torsus, variant of Latin tortus, past participle of torquēre, to twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French trousse.


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  • In architecture, a structural framework of wood or metal based on a triangular system, used to span, reinforce, or support walls, ceilings, piers, or beams.

    August 8, 2007