trench
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /tɹɛntʃ/
Noun

trench (plural trenches)

  1. A long, narrow ditch or hole dug in the ground.
  2. (military) A narrow excavation as used in warfare, as a cover for besieging or emplaced forces.
  3. (archaeology) A pit, usually rectangular with smooth walls and floor, excavated during an archaeological investigation.
  4. (informal) A trench coat.
    • 1999, April 24, Xiphias Gladius , "Re: trenchcoat mafia", ne.general.selected, Usenet:
      I was the first person in my high school to wear a trench and fedora constantly, and Ben was one of the first to wear a black trench.
    • 2007, Nina Garcia, The Little Black Book of Style, HarperCollins, as excerpted in Elle, October, page 138:
      A classic trench can work in any kind of weather and goes well with almost anything.
Related terms Translations Translations Verb

trench (trenches, present participle trenching; past and past participle trenched)

  1. (usually, followed by upon) To invade, especially with regard to the rights or the exclusive authority of another; to encroach.
    • 1640, Ben Jonson, Underwoods, page 68:
      Shee is the Judge, Thou Executioner, Or if thou needs would'st trench upon her power, Thou mightst have yet enjoy'd thy crueltie, With some more thrift, and more varietie.
    • Does it not seem as if for a creature to challenge to itself a boundless attribute, were to trench upon the prerogative of the divine nature?
    • 1949, Charles Austin Beard, American Government and Politics, page 16:
      He could make what laws he pleased, as long as those laws did not trench upon property rights.
    • 2005, Carl von Clausewitz, J. J. Graham, On War, page 261:
      [O]ur ideas, therefore, must trench upon the province of tactics.
  2. (military, infantry) To excavate an elongated pit for protection of soldiers and or equipment, usually perpendicular to the line of sight toward the enemy.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, 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 I, scene i]:
      No more shall trenching war channel her fields.
  3. (archaeology) To excavate an elongated and often narrow pit.
  4. To have direction; to aim or tend.
  5. To cut; to form or shape by cutting; to make by incision, hewing, etc.
    • 1593, [William Shakespeare], Venvs and Adonis, London: Imprinted by Richard Field, […], OCLC 837166078 ↗; Shakespeare’s Venvs & Adonis: […], 4th edition, London: J[oseph] M[alaby] Dent and Co. […], 1896, OCLC 19803734 ↗:
      The wide wound that the boar had trenched / In his soft flank.
    • c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, 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 III, scene ii]:
      This weak impress of love is as a figure / Trenched in ice, which with an hour's heat
      Dissolves to water, and doth lose its form.
  6. To cut furrows or ditches in.
    to trench land for the purpose of draining it
  7. To dig or cultivate very deeply, usually by digging parallel contiguous trenches in succession, filling each from the next.
    to trench a garden for certain crops

Trench
Proper noun
  1. Surname
  2. A suburb in Telford, Telford and Wrekin (OS grid ref SJ6912).



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