entrench
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ɪnˈtɹɛntʃ/, /ɛnˈtɹɛntʃ/
  • (America) IPA: /ɛnˈtɹɛntʃ/

Verb

entrench (entrenches, present participle entrenching; past and past participle entrenched) (ambitransitive)

  1. (construction, archaeology) To dig or excavate a trench; to trench.
  2. (military) To surround or provide with a trench, especially for defense; to dig in.
    The army entrenched its camp, or entrenched itself.
  3. (figuratively) To establish a substantial position in business, politics, etc.
    Senator Cornpone was able to entrench by spending millions on each campaign.
    • 2013 September 28, Kenan Malik, "London Is Special, but Not That Special ↗," New York Times (retrieved 28 September 2013):
      For London to have its own exclusive immigration policy would exacerbate the sense that immigration benefits only certain groups and disadvantages the rest. It would entrench the gap between London and the rest of the nation. And it would widen the breach between the public and the elite that has helped fuel anti-immigrant hostility.
  4. To invade; to encroach; to infringe or trespass; to enter on, and take possession of, that which belongs to another; usually followed by on or upon.
  5. To cut in; to furrow; to make trenches in or upon.
    • c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      It was this very sword entrenched it.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      His face / Deep scars of thunder had entrenched.
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