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[tres-uh l] /ˈtrɛs əl/
a frame typically composed of a horizontal bar or beam rigidly joined or fitted at each end to the top of a transverse A-frame, used as a barrier, a transverse support for planking, etc.; horse.
Civil Engineering.
  1. one of a number of bents, having sloping sides of framework or piling, for supporting the deck or stringers of a bridge.
  2. a bridge made of these.
Origin of trestle
1300-50; Middle English trestel < Middle French, by dissimilation from Old French trestreLatin trānstrum crossbeam Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for trestle
Historical Examples
  • Then, all at once, the shriek of a locomotive burst upon his ears, and the roar and rattle of a train going over a trestle.

    The Crevice William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander
  • Her husband is at present building a trestle on the Dunsmore track.

    The Greater Power Harold Bindloss
  • Carhart drew from a pocket his sketch-map of the region about the trestle.

    The Road Builders Samuel Merwin
  • About a mile distant there was a trestle spanning a deep gorge.

    Story of My Life Helen Keller
  • At the conclusion of the test, the reader inquired what the matter had been when they first reached the trestle.

  • A trestle bridge had been thrown across it, for the use of the infantry.

    For Name and Fame G. A. Henty
  • We now took the cars and rode out to Lake Ponchartrain—most of the way over a trestle work.

    Death Valley in '49 William Lewis Manly
  • In about half a minute Joe was out over the stream which the trestle spanned.

  • There is the bridge itself, and the long roar of the train as it rushes sounding over the trestle work that rises above the marsh.

  • I will send the third battalion around to the lower end of the trestle.

    An Undivided Union Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for trestle


a framework in the form of a horizontal member supported at each end by a pair of splayed legs, used to carry scaffold boards, a table top, etc
  1. a braced structural tower-like framework of timber, metal, or reinforced concrete that is used to support a bridge or ropeway
  2. a bridge constructed of such frameworks
Word Origin
C14: from Old French trestel, ultimately from Latin trānstrumtransom
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for trestle

early 14c., "a support for something," from Old French trestel "crossbeam" (12c.), presumed to be an alteration of Latin *transtellum, diminutive of transtrum "beam, crossbar." Specific meaning "support for a bridge" is recorded from 1796.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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