trench

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trench / trench/ • n. a long, narrow ditch. ∎  such a ditch dug by troops to provide a place of shelter from enemy fire. ∎  (trenches) a connected system of such ditches forming an army's line. ∎  (the trenches) the battlefields of northern France and Belgium in World War I: the slaughter in the trenches created a new cynicism | fig. entry-level teachers are taught the latest classroom techniques by colleagues with experience in the trenches. ∎  (also ocean trench) a long, narrow, deep depression in the ocean floor, typically one running parallel to a plate boundary and marking a subduction zone. • v. 1. [tr.] dig a trench or trenches in (the ground): she trenched the terrace to a depth of 6 feet. ∎  turn over the earth of (a field or garden) by digging a succession of adjoining ditches. 2. [intr.] (trench on/upon) archaic border closely on; encroach upon: this would surely trench very far on the dignity and liberty of citizens.

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trench a ditch dug by troops to provide a place of shelter from enemy fire, often as part of a connected system of such ditches forming an army's line; the trenches is the term used for the battlefields of northern France and Belgium in the First World War.
trench fever a highly contagious rickettsial disease transmitted by lice, that infested soldiers in the trenches in the First World War.
trench foot a painful condition of the feet caused by long immersion in cold water or mud and marked by blackening and death of surface tissue, often suffered by soldiers in the trenches in the First World War.

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trench (oceanic trench) An elongate depression of the ocean floor which runs parallel to the trend of adjacent volcanic islands (island arc) or continent. Oceanic trenches are up to 11 km deep, typically 50–100km wide, and may be thousands of kilometres long. In cross-section the trench slopes are usually asymmetric, with a steeper slope on the landward side. Most trenches are associated with subduction zones.

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trench •Romansh •blanch, Blanche, branch, ranch, tranche •avalanche •backbench, bench, blench, clench, Dench, drench, entrench, French, frontbench, quench, stench, tench, trench, wench, wrench •crossbench • workbench •cinch, clinch, finch, flinch, inch, lynch, Minch, pinch, squinch, winch •chaffinch • greenfinch • hawfinch •goldfinch • bullfinch •carte blanche, conch •graunch, haunch, launch, paunch, raunch, staunch •brunch, bunch, crunch, hunch, lunch, munch, punch, scrunch •honeybunch • keypunch

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trench(oceanic trench) An elongate depression of the ocean floor which runs parallel to the adjacent volcanic islands or continent. Oceanic trenches are up to 11 km deep, typically 50–100 km wide, and may be thousands of kilometres long. In cross-section the trench slopes are usually asymmetric, with a steeper slope on the landward side. Most trenches are associated with subduction zones.

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trench †track cut through a forest XIV; long narrow excavation XV. — OF. trenche cutting, cut, ditch, slice, f. trenchier (mod. trancher) cut (whence trench vb. XV) :- Rom. *trincāre — L. truncāre.

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trench: see ocean.