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[trek] /trɛk/
verb (used without object), trekked, trekking.
to travel or migrate, especially slowly or with difficulty.
South Africa. to travel by ox wagon.
verb (used with object), trekked, trekking.
South Africa. (of a draft animal) to draw (a vehicle or load).
a journey or trip, especially one involving difficulty or hardship.
South Africa. a migration or expedition, as by ox wagon.
South Africa. a stage of a journey, especially by ox wagon, between one stopping place and the next.
Origin of trek
1815-25; < Afrikaans < Dutch trek (noun), trekken (v.) to draw (a vehicle or load), migrate
Related forms
untrekked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for trekking
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So before noon we were again "trekking," and that, too, straight for the Potomac.

  • In ten minutes after, they were trekking to the south-east, en route for Port Natal.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • I shall have to do a lot of trekking in the wild, outlying parts.

    The Rhodesian

    Gertrude Page
  • When trekking from the old kraal, they had brought with them a small bag of maize.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • Or we watched a wandering tribe of Arabs trekking in the distance.

    The Secrets of a Kuttite Edward O. Mousley
  • I'm going to lie here so that I can keep you children from falling out while we're trekking.

    Poppy Cynthia Stockley
British Dictionary definitions for trekking


a long and often difficult journey
(South African) a journey or stage of a journey, esp a migration by ox wagon
verb treks, trekking, trekked
(intransitive) to make a trek
(transitive) (South African) (of an ox, etc) to draw (a load)
Derived Forms
trekker, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Afrikaans, from Middle Dutch trekken to travel; related to Old Frisian trekka
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for trekking


1849 (n.); 1850 (v.), "to travel or migrate by ox wagon," from Afrikaans trek, from Dutch trekken "to march, journey," originally "to draw, pull," from Middle Dutch trecken (cf. Middle Low German trecken, Old High German trechan "to draw"). Especially in reference to the Groot Trek (1835 and after) of more than 10,000 Boers, who, discontent with the English colonial authorities, left Cape Colony and went north and north-east.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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