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  • An old trench in the Argonne near Montfancon
    An old trench in the Argonne near Montfancon
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v trench dig a trench or trenches "The National Guardsmen were sent out to trench"
    • v trench cut a trench in, as for drainage "ditch the land to drain it","trench the fields"
    • v trench set, plant, or bury in a trench "trench the fallen soldiers","trench the vegetables"
    • v trench cut or carve deeply into "letters trenched into the stone"
    • v trench fortify by surrounding with trenches "He trenched his military camp"
    • v trench impinge or infringe upon "This impinges on my rights as an individual","This matter entrenches on other domains"
    • n trench a ditch dug as a fortification having a parapet of the excavated earth
    • n trench any long ditch cut in the ground
    • n trench a long steep-sided depression in the ocean floor
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The hen and the trench The hen and the trench
Jamestown exploration trenches of 1955 from the air. Landmarks are the “old cypress” in the river, upper left, the tercentenary monument, and the standing ruin of the 18th-century Ambler house Jamestown exploration trenches of 1955 from the air. Landmarks are the “old cypress” in the river, upper left, the...

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1915, Winston Churchill fought in the front line trenches before he became the Minister of Munitions.
    • Trench A long, narrow cut in the earth; a ditch; as, a trench for draining land.
    • Trench An alley; a narrow path or walk cut through woods, shrubbery, or the like. "In a trench, forth in the park, goeth she."
    • Trench (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.
    • Trench To cut furrows or ditches in; as, to trench land for the purpose of draining it.
    • Trench 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."
    • Trench 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 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?"
    • Trench (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."
    • Trench To have direction; to aim or tend. "Like powerful armies, trenching at a town
      By slow and silent, but resistless, sap."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Rin Tin Tin was born to a war-dog mother in a German trench in France during World War I. Deserted when the Germans retreated, the German shepherd puppy was found by an American officer who happened to be a police-dog trainer from California. During Rin Tin Tin's training after the war, the dog's intelligence came to the attention of Warner Brothers, which signed the dog up for what turned out to be a long career as one of the biggest box-office draws of the silent screen era.
    • trench To cut, as a notch, hole, mark, etc.; form by cutting; carve; incise.
    • trench To cut into; form a ditch, trench, or other linear depression in: as, to trench the ground round a camp or a fort.
    • trench In agriculture, to furrow deeply, especially with the spade; dig deeply and turn over thoroughly by means of a succession of contiguous trenches.
    • trench In cabinet-making and the like, to work with a long continuous groove, as a rail which is to be fitted upon the heads of a series of bars or balusters.
    • trench To cut; slash.
    • trench Specifically, to form a trench or trenches; proceed by or as if by means of trenches.
    • trench To encroach; infringe; obtrude as if by cutting into something: used of conduct, expression, or the like, usually with on or upon: as, to trench upon another's rights. Also intrench.
    • trench To reach out; extend; tend.
    • trench Synonyms Encroach upon, Infringe, etc. See trespass.
    • n trench A narrow excavation of considerable length cut into the earth; a deep furrow or ditch. In agriculture trenches are made for drainage, for loosening the soil deeply, for certain kinds of planting, etc. In military operations trenches constitute the parallels or approaches used for the shelter of besieging troops, as before a fortified place, or for protection and defense, as in an intrenched camp. If the ground is hard or rocky, trenches are raised above it with fascines, bags of earth, etc.; but if the earth can be easily dug, then a ditch or way is sunk, and edged with a parapet, next to the enemy, formed by the earth thrown out of the ditch. The depth of the trench, form of the parapet, etc., vary according to the purpose or occasion.
    • n trench A lane or road cut through shrubbery or woods.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The deepest spot in any ocean is the Mariana Trench. It's 36,198 feet below sea level (about seven miles).
    • v.t Trench trensh to dig a ditch: to dig deeply with the spade or plough
    • v.i Trench to encroach
    • n Trench a long narrow cut in the earth:
    • v.t Trench to plough with a trench-plough
    • n Trench (fort.) an excavation to interrupt the approach of an enemy: an excavated approach made by besiegers
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. trenchier, to cut, F. trancher,; akin to Pr. trencar, trenchar, Sp. trinchar, It. trinciare,; of uncertain origin


In literature:

With good trenches and proper care "trench feet" should be of rare occurrence.
"1914" by John French, Viscount of Ypres
And you can't have aerodromes along the front-line trenches.
"High Adventure" by James Norman Hall
The more advanced of the charging column were now within a few feet of the outpost's trenches; but here they wavered.
"Bamboo Tales" by Ira L. Reeves
She was found in a ditch by the men on their way to the trenches, and was perforce for some time with them there.
"The Better Germany in War Time" by Harold Picton
We do route marches and trench-digging, and yesterday I was on scout duty, and three of us captured a sentry.
"A Patriotic Schoolgirl" by Angela Brazil
It was, in a way, trenching on Pen's preserves.
"The Flag" by Homer Greene
As the trench is dug deeper, the planks are driven down.
"Elements of Plumbing" by Samuel Dibble
Seeing the Turks fleeing into another trench some fifty yards up the slope, the colonel ordered them to charge again.
"The Kangaroo Marines" by R. W. Campbell
A big zereba was made at Wad Habeshi and trenches were dug.
"Khartoum Campaign, 1898" by Bennet Burleigh
Here we had a good set of trenches, but they were practically cut off from our trenches at Hill 60 by a swamp.
"Q.6.a and Other places" by Francis Buckley
They can come down on both sides of the trench, and rake the trench.
"Young Hilda at the Wars" by Arthur Gleason
Up to December 18th the trench training of the London Rifle Brigade continued.
"Short History of the London Rifle Brigade" by Unknown
Trench after trench and strong point after strong point were wrested from him.
"World's War Events, Vol. II" by Various
And for twelve months, since the beginning of the war, I have stood in the first line trenches!
"The Backwash of War" by Ellen N. La Motte
They raided his trench, bringing back some prisoners and doing quite a lot of damage to his trench.
"Over the top with the 25th" by R. Lewis
My regular verbs are as rusty as a trench button.
"With Haig on the Somme" by D. H. Parry
First one, then two, then three, came out of our trenches, looked all around, and started for their own trenches.
"An Aviator's Field Book" by Oswald Bölcke
The order came to man the trench.
"How I Filmed the War" by Lieut. Geoffrey H. Malins
With nails alone they would demolish walls and trenches.
"The Missourian" by Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
Meanwhile, as they wait for their turn in the trenches, they fill the boulevards and cafes.
"With the French in France and Salonika" by Richard Harding Davis

In poetry:

So once I dreamed. So idle was my mood;
But now, before these eyes,
From those foul trenches, black with blood,
What radiant legions rise!
"The Companions" by Alfred Noyes
Lest that his Captain feel forgot,
At night when all the trenches slept,
Flynn tended like a garden plot
The grave o'er which the night-dews wept.
"The Vision" by Katharine Tynan
Till the trench-lights pale on the gray dawn-veil
Of the first wan sunrise-gleams,
My soul would bide with its spirit-bride
At the Inn of a Thousand Dreams.
"The Inn Of A Thousand Dreams" by Gilbert Frankau
When the trench-lights rise to the storm-dark skies
Where the gun-flash flickers and gleams,
My soul flies free o'er an English sea
To the Inn of a Thousand Dreams.
"The Inn Of A Thousand Dreams" by Gilbert Frankau
And covered trench, secure and deep,
All these cannot one victim keep,
O Death, from thee,
When thou dost battle in thy wrath,
And thy strong shafts pursue their path
"Coplas De Manrique (From The Spanish)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Between the battered trenches their silent dead will lie
Quiet with grave eyes staring at the summer sky.
There is a mist upon them so that I cannot see
The faces of my friends that walk the little town with me.
"Before The Summer" by Ewart Alan Mackintosh

In news:

An archaeologist at the University of Cambridge worked in a trench at a cave where ancient ceramics were found in Croatia.
If you work with patients long enough, you come to realize a few in-the-trenches facts.
Salvatore Ferragamo trench coat, $32,000, Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques nationwide.
Kirsten Dunst Was Down in the Trenches.
Cyclones look forward to battle in trenches.
Lucy Liu Goes Undercover in a Trench.
Another Christmas in the trenches.
In Paris, Mr Juppé's mediation effort came after four days of trench warfare between Messrs. Fillon and Copé that exposed deep divisions at UMP.
An effort to rescue a man buried in a trench collapse has come to a tragic end.
Numbers game can trump track record in trenches for defensive lineman.
To Bill Gates from a man in the trenches.
Obama's Regulatory Overture : Digging a Trench or a Grave.
(on her) trench coat, XOXO, $89.
Plant 1- or 2-year-old crowns during March, spacing them 12 inches apart in trenches 8 inches deep.
Emergency teams play out trench-rescue scenarios.

In science:

As atoms in the trench may tilt away from the As dimer axis and form an additional bond with a Ga atom at the side wall of the trench (B1 and B3, see Fig. 2d).
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
Interaction energy of clusters of Ga adatoms in the trenches (left) and in the top layer (right) of the β2 reconstruction.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
The left column in Table I shows the interaction energy for Ga atoms adsorbed in the trench.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
Next we consider the alternative scenario, nucleation of a new layer without previous trench filling.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
In general, Ga adsorption in the toplayer As dimers is energetically less favorable than adsorption in the trench dimers.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
Therefore population of the top-layer sites is considerably smaller for low coverages, and only increases when the trench dimer sites are mostly occupied.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
If larger islands of Ga addimers form on surface regions where the trenches are already filled up with Ga atoms, this is not due to an attractive interaction.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
For the nucleation scenario in the trenches, such a situation occurs already for a single Ga atom adsorbed in the trench, for instance in the A3 site.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
Further As2 adsorption on the local β reconstruction, which would lead to a complete filling of the trench, has been found to be energetically unfavorable.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
However, for the four-Ga atom cluster in the top layer, we find that As2 binds even more strongly there than on a cluster of Ga adatoms in the trench.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
Free enthalpy per Ga atom at T = 750 K and p(As2 ) = 10−3Pa for two kinetic pathways marked by the arrows, a) for filling of the trenches (see also Fig. 4), and b) for nucleation of a new layer (see also Fig. 5).
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
Filling of the trenches will proceed by further attachment of Ga adatoms to these nuclei.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
From our calculations, we expect that islands in the new layer will preferentially form in those regions of the surface where locally the β reconstruction has formed, i. e. where the trenches have been partially filled.
Model for nucleation in GaAs homoepitaxy derived from first principles
Trench, Asymptotic distribution of the spectra of a class of generalized Kac-MurdockSzeg¨o matrices.
Norms of Toeplitz Matrices with Fisher-Hartwig Symbols
Trench, Properties of some generalizations of Kac-Murdock-Szeg¨o matrices.
Norms of Toeplitz Matrices with Fisher-Hartwig Symbols