trenching on


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
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
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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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