trencher

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trench·er1 / ˈtrenchər/ • n. 1. hist. a wooden plate or platter for food. ∎  a thick slice of bread used as a plate or platter. 2. old-fashioned term for mortarboard (sense 1). trench·er2 • n. a machine or attachment used in digging trenches.

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trencher †cutting instrument; board on which food was served XIV (hence t. -man feeder, eater XVI); (also t. -cap) academic cap thought to resemble a square platter XVIII. — AN. trenchour, OF. trencheoir, f. trenchier cut; see TRENCH, -ER2, -OR1

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trencher Medieval English; thick slices of (normally stale) bread, partly hollowed out and used as a plate, commonly given to the poor after the meal. Later replaced by a wooden trencher.