the main stem of a tree, as distinct from the branches and roots.
a large, sturdy box or chest for holding or transporting clothes, personal effects, or other articles.
a large compartment, usually in the rear of an automobile, in which luggage, a spare tire, and other articles may be kept.
the body of a person or an animal excluding the head and limbs; torso.
Ichthyology. the part of a fish between the head and the anus.
the shaft of a column.
the dado or die of a pedestal.
the main channel, artery, or line in a river, railroad, highway, canal, or other tributary system.
Telephony, Telegraphy.
a telephone line or channel between two central offices or switching devices that is used in providing telephone connections between subscribers generally.
a telegraph line or channel between two main or central offices.
Anatomy. the main body of an artery, nerve, or the like, as distinct from its branches.
brief shorts, loose-fitting or tight, worn by men chiefly for boxing, swimming, and track.
Obsolete, trunk hose.
the long, flexible, cylindrical nasal appendage of the elephant.
a large enclosed passage through the decks or bulkheads of a vessel, for cooling, ventilation, or the like.
any of various watertight casings in a vessel, as the vertical one above the slot for a centerboard in the bottom of a boat.
a conduit; shaft; chute.
of, pertaining to, or noting a main channel or line, as of a railroad or river.

1400–50; late Middle English trunke < Latin truncus stem, trunk, stump, noun use of truncus lopped

trunkless, adjective
subtrunk, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
trunk (trʌŋk)
1.  the main stem of a tree, usually thick and upright, covered with bark and having branches at some distance from the ground
2.  a large strong case or box used to contain clothes and other personal effects when travelling and for storage
3.  anatomy the body excluding the head, neck, and limbs; torso
4.  the elongated prehensile nasal part of an elephant; proboscis
5.  (US), (Canadian) Also called: boot an enclosed compartment of a car for holding luggage, etc, usually at the rear
6.  anatomy the main stem of a nerve, blood vessel, etc
7.  nautical a watertight boxlike cover within a vessel with its top above the waterline, such as one used to enclose a centreboard
8.  an enclosed duct or passageway for ventilation, etc
9.  (modifier) of or relating to a main road, railway, etc, in a network: a trunk line
[C15: from Old French tronc, from Latin truncus, from truncus (adj) lopped]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1462, "box, case," from O.Fr. tronc "alms box in a church" (12c.), also "trunk of a tree, trunk of the human body," from L. truncus, originally "mutilated, cut off." The meaning "box, case" is likely to be from the notion of the body as the "case" of the organs. Eng. acquired the other two senses of
the O.Fr. word later; sense of "main stem of a tree" dates from 1490; that of "torso of a human body" from 1494. The sense of "luggage compartment of a motor vehicle" is from 1930. The use in reference to an elephant's snout is from 1565, probably from confusion with trump (short for trumpet). Railroad trunk line is attested from 1843; telephone version is from 1889.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

trunk (trŭngk)

  1. The body excluding the head and limbs.

  2. The main stem of a blood vessel or nerve apart from the branches.

  3. A large collecting lymphatic vessel.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Tree with long, straight trunk and usually narrow, dense crown.
Thinking fast, he found a long stick and tapped the trunk above the gecko.
Shearer now carefully inspects every tree before cutting and has been using
  metal detectors to check every trunk being processed.
Now comes a sonic burst, as a downy woodpecker drills into a nearby trunk.
Images for trunk
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