Fortification. a long, narrow excavation in the ground, the earth from which is thrown up in front to serve as a shelter from enemy fire or attack.
trenches, a system of such excavations, with their embankments, etc.
a deep furrow, ditch, or cut.
Oceanography. a long, steep-sided, narrow depression in the ocean floor.
verb (used with object)
to surround or fortify with trenches; entrench.
to cut a trench in.
to set or place in a trench.
to form (a furrow, ditch, etc.) by cutting into or through something.
to make a cut in; cut into; carve.
verb (used without object)
to dig a trench.
Verb phrases
trench on/upon,
to encroach or infringe on.
to come close to; verge on: His remarks were trenching on poor taste.

1350–1400; Middle English trenche path made by cutting < Old French: act of cutting, a cut, derivative of trenchier to cut < Vulgar Latin *trincāre, for Latin truncāre to lop; see truncate

subtrench, noun
untrenched, adjective Unabridged


Richard Chenevix [shen-uh-vee] , 1807–86, English clergyman and scholar, born in Ireland. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
trench (trɛntʃ)
1.  a deep ditch or furrow
2.  a ditch dug as a fortification, having a parapet of the excavated earth
3.  to make a trench in (a place)
4.  (tr) to fortify with a trench or trenches
5.  to slash or be slashed
6.  (intr; foll by on or upon) to encroach or verge
[C14: from Old French trenche something cut, from trenchier to cut, from Latin truncāre to cut off]

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

late 14c., "track cut through a wood," later "long, narrow ditch" (1489), from O.Fr. trenche "a slice, ditch" (1288), from trenchier "to cut," possibly from V.L. *trincare, from L. truncare "to cut or lop off" (see truncate). Trenches for military protection are first so
called c.1500. Trench warfare first attested 1918. Trench-coat first recorded 1916, a type of coat worn by British officers in the trenches.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
trench   (trěnch)  Pronunciation Key 
A long, steep-sided valley on the ocean floor. Trenches form when one tectonic plate slides beneath another plate at a subduction zone. The Marianas Trench, located in the western Pacific east of the Philippines, is the deepest known trench (10,924 m or 35,831 ft) and the deepest area in the ocean.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for trench
Trench suggested that a new, truly comprehensive dictionary was needed.
The men were buried where they lay in the trench and the rifles left untouched.
Overall he totalled about nine months of active, frontline trench warfare.
This gave birth to trench warfare, a tactic heavily used during world war i.
Images for trench
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