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.]


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. Shak.

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. Shak.

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. Shak.


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


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.


© Webster 1913.

Trench, v. i.


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.


To have direction; to aim or tend.



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. Young.


© Webster 1913.

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


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



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


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

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


© Webster 1913.

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