[tres-uh l]


a frame typically composed of a horizontal bar or beam rigidly joined or fitted at each end to the top of a transverse A-frame, used as a barrier, a transverse support for planking, etc.; horse.
Civil Engineering.
  1. one of a number of bents, having sloping sides of framework or piling, for supporting the deck or stringers of a bridge.
  2. a bridge made of these.

Origin of trestle

1300–50; Middle English trestel < Middle French, by dissimilation from Old French trestreLatin trānstrum crossbeam Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for trestle

horse, support, beam, stand, brace, sawhorse

Examples from the Web for trestle

Historical Examples of trestle

  • She died of cold, on the trestle on which I had had her placed to send her home.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Her husband is at present building a trestle on the Dunsmore track.

    The Greater Power

    Harold Bindloss

  • Again she must cross the dark Hoghole trestle alone on her way to the hut.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White

  • In column of twos he led his men out on the ties of the trestle bridge.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • The culvert was built underneath a trestle which was afterwards filled in.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

British Dictionary definitions for trestle



a framework in the form of a horizontal member supported at each end by a pair of splayed legs, used to carry scaffold boards, a table top, etc
  1. a braced structural tower-like framework of timber, metal, or reinforced concrete that is used to support a bridge or ropeway
  2. a bridge constructed of such frameworks

Word Origin for trestle

C14: from Old French trestel, ultimately from Latin trānstrum transom
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 trestle

early 14c., "a support for something," from Old French trestel "crossbeam" (12c.), presumed to be an alteration of Latin *transtellum, diminutive of transtrum "beam, crossbar." Specific meaning "support for a bridge" is recorded from 1796.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper