- The definition of a trench is a long, narrow ditch sometimes dug by troops during wartime to hide from enemies.
A long narrow ditch dug in World War I to protect troops from being seen by the enemy is an example of a trench.
- Trench means to dig a long and narrow ditch.
When you dig a long, narrow ditch to place a pipe, this is an example of a time when you trench.
- to cut, cut into, cut off, etc.; slice, gash, etc.
- to cut a deep furrow or furrows in
- to dig a ditch or ditches in
- to surround or fortify with trenches; entrench
Origin of trenchLate Middle English trenchen from Old French trenchier (Fr trancher), to cut, hack, probably from Classical Latin truncare, to cut off: see truncate
- to dig a ditch or ditches, as for fortification
- to infringe (on or upon another's land, rights, time, etc.)
- to verge or border (on); come close
- a deep furrow in the ground, ocean floor, etc.
- a long, narrow ditch dug by soldiers for cover and concealment, with the removed earth heaped up in front
Origin of trenchME < OFr trenche (Fr tranche, a slice) < trencher
- a system of trenches dug as fortifications, as in WWI
- a situation characterized by the heavy or physical work of any struggle or enterprise
- A deep furrow or ditch.
- A long narrow ditch embanked with its own soil and used for concealment and protection in warfare.
- A long, steep-sided valley on the ocean floor.
verbtrenched, trench·ing, trench·es
- To dig or make a trench or trenches in (land or an area, for example).
- To place in a trench: trench a pipeline.
- To dig a trench or trenches.
- To encroach. Often used with on or upon : “The bishop exceeded his powers, and trenched on those of the king” ( Francis Parkman )
- To verge or border. Often used with on or upon : “a broad playfulness that trenched on buffoonery” ( George Meredith )
Origin of trenchMiddle English trenche from Old French a cutting, slice from trenchier to cut from Vulgar Latin trincāre perhaps partly from Latin trīncāre to cut in three ( from earlier trīnicāre ) (Latin rīnī three each, triple ; see trei- in Indo-European roots.) (Latin -icāre ) ( as in duplicāre to double, split in two ; see duplicate. ) and partly from a Gaulish root trink- to cut, behead found in Late Latin trincus trincus a kind of gladiator who was subject to particular Gaulish customs and probably fought until beheaded ( of Gaulish origin) ( perhaps ultimately from a pre-Roman substrate root trenk- to cut ) ( or perhaps akin to Latin truncus trunk ; see terə2 in Indo-European roots.)
(third-person singular simple present trenches, present participle trenching, simple past and past participle trenched)
- (usually followed by upon) To invade, especially with regard to the rights or the exclusive authority of another; to encroach.
- (military, infantry) To excavate an elongated pit for protection of soldiers and or equipment, usually perpendicular to the line of sight toward the enemy.
- (archaeology) To excavate an elongated and often narrow pit.
- To have direction; to aim or tend.
- To cut; to form or shape by cutting; to make by incision, hewing, etc.
- To cut furrows or ditches in.
- to trench land for the purpose of draining it
- To dig or cultivate very deeply, usually by digging parallel contiguous trenches in succession, filling each from the next.
- to trench a garden for certain crops
From Old French trenche.