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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a trench coat (=a long raincoat with a belt)
▪ a military-style trench coat
dig a hole/trench/grave etc
▪ They dig a small hole in the sand to bury their eggs.
trench coat
trench warfare (=fighting from long holes dug into the ground)
▪ There he experienced the full horrors of trench warfare.
trench warfare
▪ Water belched out as he drenched each tree, pouring the costly stuff into the deep trench which circled their trunks.
▪ Across the Volga, for example, engineers had to dig a 16-metre deep trench to accommodate the pipe.
▪ He had a black trench coat on and his right hand was deep inside the right pocket.
▪ It was all preparation for her dream job: a foreign correspondent, roaming the world in a trench coat.
▪ Immediately, they heard raised voices and saw that the porter was engaged in an altercation with two men in trench coats.
▪ Check any narrow-minded seriousness at the door with your urban trench coat and get ready for an absolute annihilation of bourgeois civility.
▪ He was wearing a trench coat, military style with wide lapels, the collar turned up, belted.
▪ Purple Label sportswear is filled with chocolate-colored suede trench coats, gray pinstriped cashmere slacks, cashmere sweaters and cashmere overcoats.
▪ He carried his trench coat over his arm.
▪ No cocktail hat, no military decorations, no trench coat actually worn in the trenches.
▪ More years of trench warfare and carnage on the Western Front.were now almost unavoidable.
▪ The little-noticed trench warfare over Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is nothing new.
▪ Lastly, trench warfare is a policy Mr Yeltsin has pursued with some success for much of the past 12 months.
▪ Yet to continue trench warfare as before would be a mistake.
▪ The musical evokes the courage and humour of the troops amidst the horror of trench warfare.
▪ They dig trenches which make it difficult for me to get out?
▪ Everyone dug tunnels and trenches under fire, sometimes hitting hard soil and only advancing five or six yards a day.
▪ Across the Volga, for example, engineers had to dig a 16-metre deep trench to accommodate the pipe.
▪ The rows of atoms, as it were, dislike being dug out of their comfortable trenches of lowest energy.
▪ Fabritsyn dug trenches, tended cattle, and carried rebel arms and explosives between bases.
▪ By digging a trench and doing nothing Kasparov could probably hold the draw, but that is not his style.
▪ Planted blueberry bushes. Digging trench for cabin foundation.
▪ And so on that soaking wet winter day we began digging our trench.
▪ I was assigned to a crew digging trenches.
▪ Put in a V-shaped trench 6in apart above a layer of course sand. Fill trench with light soil and water well.
▪ Purple Label sportswear is filled with chocolate-colored suede trench coats, gray pinstriped cashmere slacks, cashmere sweaters and cashmere overcoats.
the Mariana Trench
▪ the fighting men in the trenches of France
▪ the Puerto Rico Trench
▪ Workers dug a trench for gas lines.
▪ But we in the trenches just never see the end product.
▪ Downbuckling is marked by an offshore trench.
▪ Parapets gradually grew lower and lower until the trench became little deeper than a roadside ditch.
▪ The mosquitoes don't seem to like the rain either, they all seem to be at the back of the trench.
▪ There had been such a wide expanse of firm ground that a trench had never been worn.
▪ Those same nice folks get awful upset when somebody goes out and jumps into the trenches and tries to make it work.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Trench \Trench\, v. i.

  1. To encroach; to intrench.

    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?
    --I. Taylor.

  2. To have direction; to aim or tend. [R.]

    To trench at, to make trenches against; to approach by trenches, as a town in besieging it. [Obs.]

    Like powerful armies, trenching at a town By slow and silent, but resistless, sap.


Trench \Trench\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Trenched; p. pr. & vb. n. Trenching.] [OF. trenchier to cut, F. trancher; akin to Pr. trencar, trenchar, Sp. trinchar, It. trinciare; of uncertain origin.]

  1. To cut; to form or shape by cutting; to make by incision, hewing, or the like.

    The wide wound that the boar had trenched In his soft flank.

    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.

  2. (Fort.) To fortify by cutting a ditch, and raising a rampart or breastwork with the earth thrown out of the ditch; to intrench.

    No more shall trenching war channel her fields.

  3. To cut furrows or ditches in; as, to trench land for the purpose of draining it.

  4. To dig or cultivate very deeply, usually by digging parallel contiguous trenches in succession, filling each from the next; as, to trench a garden for certain crops.


Trench \Trench\, n. [OE. trenche, F. tranch['e]e. See Trench, v. t.]

  1. A long, narrow cut in the earth; a ditch; as, a trench for draining land.

  2. An alley; a narrow path or walk cut through woods, shrubbery, or the like. [Obs.]

    In a trench, forth in the park, goeth she.

  3. (Fort.) An excavation made during a siege, for the purpose of covering the troops as they advance toward the besieged place. The term includes the parallels and the approaches.

    To open the trenches (Mil.), to begin to dig or to form the lines of approach.

    Trench cavalier (Fort.), an elevation constructed (by a besieger) of gabions, fascines, earth, and the like, about half way up the glacis, in order to discover and enfilade the covered way.

    Trench plow, or Trench plough, a kind of plow for opening land to a greater depth than that of common furrows.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "track cut through a wood," later "long, narrow ditch" (late 15c.), from Old French trenche "a slice, cut, gash, slash; defensive ditch" (13c., Modern French tranche), from trenchier "to cut, carve, slice," possibly from Vulgar Latin *trincare, from Latin 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 during World War I.


n. 1 A long, narrow ditch or hole dug in the ground. 2 (context military English) A narrow excavation as used in warfare, as a cover for besieging or emplaced forces. 3 (context archaeology English) A pit, usually rectangular with smooth walls and floor, excavated during an archaeological investigation. 4 (context informal English) A trench coat. vb. 1 {{context|usually|followed by (term upon English)|lang=en}} To invade, especially with regard to the rights or the exclusive authority of another; to encroach. 2 (context military infantry English) To excavate an elongated pit for protection of soldiers and or equipment, usually perpendicular to the line of sight toward the enemy. 3 (context archaeology English) 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. 6 To cut furrows or ditches in. 7 To dig or cultivate very deeply, usually by digging parallel contiguous trenches in succession, filling each from the next.

  1. n. a ditch dug as a fortification having a parapet of the excavated earth

  2. a long steep-sided depression in the ocean floor [syn: deep, oceanic abyss]

  3. any long ditch cut in the ground

  4. v. impinge or infringe upon; "This impinges on my rights as an individual"; "This matter entrenches on other domains" [syn: impinge, encroach, entrench]

  5. fortify by surrounding with trenches; "He trenched his military camp"

  6. cut or carve deeply into; "letters trenched into the stone"

  7. set, plant, or bury in a trench; "trench the fallen soldiers"; "trench the vegetables"

  8. cut a trench in, as for drainage; "ditch the land to drain it"; "trench the fields" [syn: ditch]

  9. dig a trench or trenches; "The National Guardsmen were sent out to trench"

Trench (surname)

Trench is a surname.

The Trench family supposedly originated in County Galway, Ireland as descendants of Frederic de la Tranche, a 16th-century Huguenot immigrant from Normandy, and his wife Margaret Sutton, a possible Northumbrian. The peerage titles Baron Ashtown, Baron Kilconnel, Baron Trench, Earl of Clancarty, Marquess of Heusden and Viscount Dunlo have been held by various members.


A trench is a type of excavation or depression in the ground that is generally deeper than it is wide (as opposed to a wider gully, or ditch), and narrow compared to its length (as opposed to a simple hole).

In geology, trenches are created as a result of erosion by rivers or by geological movement of tectonic plates. In the civil engineering field, trenches are often created to install underground infrastructure or utilities (such as gas mains, water mains or telephone lines), or later to access these installations. Trenches have also often been dug for military defensive purposes. In archaeology, the "trench method" is used for searching and excavating ancient ruins or to dig into strata of sedimented material.

Trench (disambiguation)

A trench is a narrow depression in the ground. Trench or Trenches may also refer to:

  • Trench (surname)includes list of people with the name
  • Oceanic trench
  • Trenches (Web Series), a 2010 sci-fi TV series.
  • Trench coat, a type of coat garment originally worn in trench warfare
  • Trench foot, also known as Immersion foot, a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure of the feet to damp and cold
  • Trench warfare, the kind of warfare defined by fortified earth defences
  • Trenches (video game), a 2009 game for iPhone/iPod
  • Trench Town, Jamaica
  • Also see Tranche, one of a number of related securities offered as part of the same transaction

Usage examples of "trench".

His feet dangled over the debris trench which circled the perimeter of the table, and which the suit assured him was reeking in the manner approved by Affronter gourmets.

All excreta behind the front line and reserve trenches is destroyed in numerous incinerators, which are kept burning night and day.

Herzer set one maniple of third decuri to work on the tree while the rest dug a shallow trench along the edge of the plateau.

The arrival of a minnenwerfer, however, gave her a great fright and made her jump back into the trench with alacrity, much to the amusement of the men, who said that she knew the use of trenches.

At the moment, Sam was seated in a balloon-tired mooncar, watching as a crew sprayed liquid plastic over the walls and floor of a trench, stabilizing it against movement even under the occasional prod of a moonquake, sealing it against any possibility of leaking air.

Every morning of the summer I have passed boys between eighteen and twenty-five, clad in fresh khaki, as they go riding down the poplar lane from La Panne to the trenches, the first twenty with bright silver bugles, their cheeks puffed and red with the blowing.

Already the parados was lined with newly-made firing positions, that gave the sentry view of the German trench some forty or fifty yards in front.

And when at last they reached the trench, those farthest on the left of the advancing Britishers heard a machine gun sputter suddenly before them and saw a huge lion leap over the German parados with the body of a screaming Hun soldier between his jaws and vanish into the shadows of the night, while squatting upon a traverse to their left was Tarzan of the Apes with a machine gun before him with which he was raking the length of the German trenches.

High explosive and steel and brass had had their way with the landscape, blowing big holes in the trenches, knocking down stretches of parapet and parados, and incidentally knocking a couple of vital machine-gun positions topsy-turvy.

Machines on the surface dug what looked to Jory like simple trenches, and unwound spools of the equivalent of barbed wire, long strands of polyphase matter, each displaying a quasi intelligence on the level of that of an ant or bee, programmed to entrap or at least delay berserker landing machines when they appeared.

The staple material, porphyritic trap, shows scatters of quartz and huge veins, mostly trending north-south: large trenches made, according to the guides, by the ancients, and small cairns or stone piles, modern work, were also pointed out to us.

Floating downwards towards the newly-dug trench and the bed of gravel on which it was to rest was the ponderous and massive form of a preformed tunnel section.

A liberal intellectual working in the trenches of quotidian law enforcement.

The once revered warrior has become revered once again, at least among the thinning ranks of Achaeans, appearing on his four-horsed chariot wherever the Greek lines appeared ready to give way, urging trench engineers to replace stakes and redig collapsed areas, improving the internal trenches with sand berms and firing slits, sending men and boys out as scouts at night to steal water from the Trojans, and always calling for the men to have heart.

The years in the trenches had emancipated Daniel from the narrow fanaticism of his family, without impairing his patriotism, and Rosine in exchange had gently admitted that her father had been mistaken.