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Related to trenches: Ocean trenches


1. A deep furrow or ditch.
2. A long narrow ditch embanked with its own soil and used for concealment and protection in warfare.
3. A long, steep-sided valley on the ocean floor.
v. trenched, trench·ing, trench·es
1. To dig or make a trench or trenches in (land or an area, for example).
2. To place in a trench: trench a pipeline.
1. To dig a trench or trenches.
2. To encroach. Often used with on or upon: "The bishop exceeded his powers, and trenched on those of the king" (Francis Parkman).
3. To verge or border. Often used with on or upon: "a broad playfulness that trenched on buffoonery" (George Meredith).

[Middle English trenche, from Old French, a cutting, slice, from trenchier, to cut, from Vulgar Latin *trincāre, perhaps partly from Latin *trīncāre, to cut in three (from earlier *trīnicāre : Latin rīnī, three each, triple; see trei- in Indo-European roots + Latin -icāre, as in duplicāre, to double, split in two; see duplicate) and partly from a Gaulish root *trink-, to cut, behead, found in Late Latin trincus trincus, a kind of gladiator who was subject to particular Gaulish customs and probably fought until beheaded (of Gaulish origin, perhaps ultimately from a pre-Roman substrate root *trenk-, to cut, or perhaps akin to Latin truncus, trunk; see terə in Indo-European roots).]


pl n
(Fortifications) a system of excavations used for the protection of troops, esp those (the Trenches) used at the front line in World War I
References in classic literature ?
Every Saturday she hires little Injuns to garrison her fort; then she lays siege to it, and makes military approaches by make-believe trenches in make-believe night, and finally at make-believe dawn she draws her sword and sounds the assault and takes it by storm.
Fortified towns with their stockades, guard-houses, gates, trenches, and drawbridges, seemed to the mender of roads, to be so much air as against this figure.
It completely conveyed the idea of a man who had been born, not to say with a silver spoon, but with a scaling-ladder, and had gone on mounting all the heights of life one after another, until now he looked, from the top of the fortifications, with the eye of a philosopher and a patron, on the people down in the trenches.
Animated with these succours, he marched out of his trenches to enter those of the Portuguese, who received him with the utmost bravery, destroyed prodigious numbers of his men, and made many sallies with great vigour, but losing every day some of their small troops, and most of their officers being killed, it was easy to surround and force them.
I will prevent it," said the gentleman; and going over to Don Quixote, who was insisting upon the keeper's opening the cages, he said to him, "Sir knight, knights-errant should attempt adventures which encourage the hope of a successful issue, not those which entirely withhold it; for valour that trenches upon temerity savours rather of madness than of courage; moreover, these lions do not come to oppose you, nor do they dream of such a thing; they are going as presents to his Majesty, and it will not be right to stop them or delay their journey.
The youth's regiment was marched to relieve a command that had lain long in some damp trenches.
If you were on guard in the trenches, as I was, and a spy
Before the fires of the rocket had faded from the sky, long before the first gun had sounded from the distant hills, a splutter of rifle fire had flashed and flickered all around from the hidden trenches of the enemy.
Still higher, on their left, the elevation called Bulbarrow or Bealbarrow, well-nigh the highest in South Wessex, swelled into the sky, engirdled by its earthen trenches.
The French trenches, by which they approached and invested the Malakoff were carried so close under its sloping sides that one might have stood by the Russian guns and tossed a stone into them.
among the ruins; he dug trenches, and we jumped them; we had to be dragged by the legs from beneath his engines, he sunk wells, and in we went.
Tarzan let his eye move quickly toward that part of the British line the German seemed to be scanning, his keen sight revealing many excellent targets for a rifle placed so high above the trenches.