Trench

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Trench'

Trench Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    trench n
  1. 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 v
  4. 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 Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    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. --Mortimer.
  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. --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, or Trench plough, a kind of plow for opening land to a greater depth than that of common furrows.
Trench Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    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. --Shak.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Trench'


A trench is a type of excavation or depression in the ground. Trenches are generally defined by being deeper than they are wide (as opposed to a wider gully or ditch), and by being narrow compared to their length (as opposed to a simple hole).

A number of areas exist in which trenches play a significant role:

Archeologists may use the 'trench method', pioneered by Dame Kathleen Kenyon in Israel, for searching and excavating ancient ruins or to dig into strata of sedimented material to get a sideways (layered) view of the deposits - with a hope of being able to place found objects or materials in a chronological order. The advantage of this method is that it destroys only a small part of the site (those areas where the trenches, often arranged in a grid pattern, are located). However, this method also has the disadvantage of only revealing small slices of the whole volume, and modern archeological digs usually employ combination methods.

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