verb (used with object)

to place in a position of strength; establish firmly or solidly: safely entrenched behind undeniable facts.
to dig trenches for defensive purposes around (oneself, a military position, etc.).

verb (used without object)

to encroach; trespass; infringe (usually followed by on or upon): to entrench on the domain or rights of another.

Also intrench.

Origin of entrench

First recorded in 1545–55; en-1 + trench
Related formsre·en·trench, verbun·en·trenched, adjective

Synonyms for entrench

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for entrenched

Contemporary Examples of entrenched

Historical Examples of entrenched

  • At night these animals have to be packed closely in an entrenched camp.

  • Turn a perfectly sound, entrenched business into a blue-sky factory?

    The Big Tomorrow

    Paul Lohrman

  • He meant supremely to be safe, and to that end he had entrenched himself on every side.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • The entrenched Turks were strong enough to withstand the attack of the Bulgarian forces.


    Frank Fox

  • The Germans were entrenched in the gardens and walled enclosures of the village.

British Dictionary definitions for entrenched




(tr) to construct (a defensive position) by digging trenches around it
(tr) to fix or establish firmly, esp so as to prevent removal or change
(intr; foll by on or upon) to trespass or encroach; infringe
Derived Formsentrenched or intrenched, adjectiveentrencher or intrencher, noun
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

Word Origin and History for entrenched



1550s, implied in intrenched, from en- (1) "make, put in" + trench. Figurative use is from 1590s. Related: Entrenched; entrenching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper