A nose. How fares your old trunk? does your nose still stand fast? an allusion to the proboscis or trunk of an elephant. To shove a trunk: to introduce one's self unasked into any place or company. Trunk-maker like; more noise than work.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Trunk (?), n. [F. tronc, L. truncus, fr. truncus maimed, mutilated; perhaps akin to torquere to twist wrench, and E. torture. Trunk in the sense of proboscis is fr. F. trompe (the same word as trompe a trumpet), but has been confused in English with trunk the stem of a tree (see Trump a trumpet). Cf. Truncate.]


The stem, or body, of a tree, apart from its limbs and roots; the main stem, without the branches; stock; stalk.

About the mossy trunk I wound me soon, For, high from ground, the branches would require Thy utmost reach. Milton.


The body of an animal, apart from the head and limbs.


The main body of anything; as, the trunk of a vein or of an artery, as distinct from the branches.

4. Arch

That part of a pilaster which is between the base and the capital, corresponding to the shaft of a column.

5. Zool.

That segment of the body of an insect which is between the head and abdomen, and bears the wings and legs; the thorax; the truncus.

6. Zool. (a)

The proboscis of an elephant.


The proboscis of an insect.


A long tube through which pellets of clay, pas, etc., are driven by the force of the breath.

He shot sugarplums them out of a trunk. Howell.


A box or chest usually covered with leather, metal, or cloth, or sometimes made of leather, hide, or metal, for containing clothes or other goods; especially, one used to convey the effects of a traveler.

Locked up in chests and trunks. Shak.

9. Mining

A flume or sluice in which ores are separated from the slimes in which they are contained.

10. Steam Engine

A large pipe forming the piston rod of a steam engine, of sufficient diameter to allow one end of the connecting rod to be attached to the crank, and the other end to pass within the pipe directly to the piston, thus making the engine more compact.


A long, large box, pipe, or conductor, made of plank or metal plates, for various uses, as for conveying air to a mine or to a furnace, water to a mill, grain to an elevator, etc.

Trunk engine, a marine engine, the piston rod of which is a trunk. See Trunk, 10. -- Trunk hose, large breeches formerly worn, reaching to the knees. -- Trunk line, the main line of a railway, canal, or route of conveyance. -- Trunk turtle Zool., the leatherback.


© Webster 1913.

Trunk (?), v. t. [Cf. F. tronquer. See Truncate.]


To lop off; to curtail; to truncate; to maim.

[Obs.] "Out of the trunked stock."


2. Mining

To extract (ores) from the slimes in which they are contained, by means of a trunk. See Trunk, n., 9.



© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.