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[tren-cher] /ˈtrɛn tʃər/
a person or thing that digs trenches.
ditchdigger (def 3).
a rectangular or circular flat piece of wood on which meat, or other food, is served or carved.
such a piece of wood and the food on it.
Archaic. food; the pleasures of good eating.
1275-1325; Middle English trenchour something to cut with or on < Anglo-French; Middle French trencheoir. See trench, -ory2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for trencher
  • They were transporting the trencher on a flatbed truck, which couldn't make the steep grade.
  • Ice slots can be cut using chain saws, handsaws, ice augers or some form of trencher.
  • At that time two people usually ate from one trencher, a wooden plate with a hollowed-out center, about twelve inches square.
British Dictionary definitions for trencher


(esp formerly) a wooden board on which food was served or cut
Also called trencher cap another name for mortarboard (sense 1)
Word Origin
C14 trenchour knife, plate for carving on, from Old French trencheoir, from trenchier to cut; see trench


a person or thing that digs trenches
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for trencher

c.1300, "wooden platter on which to cut meat," from Anglo-French trenchour, from Old North French trencheor "a trencher," literally "a cutting place," from Old French trenchier "to cut" (see trench).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for trencher

originally a thick slice of bread, used as a primitive form of plate for eating and for slicing meat (hence its derivation from "trancher"-to cut, or carve), but by the 14th century a square or circular wooden plate of rough workmanship. There was usually a small cavity for salt in the rim of the wooden plate, and sometimes the main section was so formed that it could be turned over and the other side used for a second course

Learn more about trencher with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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