[ truhngk ]
See synonyms for: trunktrunks on

  1. the main stem of a tree, as distinct from the branches and roots.

  2. a large, sturdy box or chest for holding or transporting clothes, personal effects, or other articles.

  1. a large compartment, usually in the rear of an automobile, in which luggage, a spare tire, and other articles may be kept.

  2. the body of a person or an animal excluding the head and limbs; torso.

  3. Ichthyology. the part of a fish between the head and the anus.

  4. Architecture.

    • the shaft of a column.

    • the dado or die of a pedestal.

  5. the main channel, artery, or line in a river, railroad, highway, canal, or other tributary system.

  6. Telephony, Telegraphy.

    • a telephone line or channel between two central offices or switching devices that is used in providing telephone connections between subscribers generally.

    • a telegraph line or channel between two main or central offices.

  7. Anatomy. the main body of an artery, nerve, or the like, as distinct from its branches.

  8. trunks,

    • brief shorts, loose-fitting or tight, worn by men chiefly for boxing, swimming, and track.

    • Obsolete. trunk hose.

  9. the long, flexible, cylindrical nasal appendage of the elephant.

  10. Nautical.

    • a large enclosed passage through the decks or bulkheads of a vessel, for cooling, ventilation, or the like.

    • any of various watertight casings in a vessel, as the vertical one above the slot for a centerboard in the bottom of a boat.

  11. a conduit; shaft; chute.

  1. of, relating to, or noting a main channel or line, as of a railroad or river.

Origin of trunk

1400–50; late Middle English trunke<Latin truncus stem, trunk, stump, noun use of truncus lopped

Other words from trunk

  • trunkless, adjective
  • subtrunk, noun

Words Nearby trunk Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use trunk in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for trunk


/ (trʌŋk) /

  1. the main stem of a tree, usually thick and upright, covered with bark and having branches at some distance from the ground

  2. a large strong case or box used to contain clothes and other personal effects when travelling and for storage

  1. anatomy the body excluding the head, neck, and limbs; torso

  2. the elongated prehensile nasal part of an elephant; proboscis

  3. Also called: (Brit, Austral., NZ, and South African) boot US and Canadian an enclosed compartment of a car for holding luggage, etc, usually at the rear

  4. anatomy the main stem of a nerve, blood vessel, etc

  5. nautical a watertight boxlike cover within a vessel with its top above the waterline, such as one used to enclose a centreboard

  6. an enclosed duct or passageway for ventilation, etc

  7. (modifier) of or relating to a main road, railway, etc, in a network: a trunk line

Origin of trunk

C15: from Old French tronc, from Latin truncus, from truncus (adj) lopped

Derived forms of trunk

  • trunkful, noun
  • trunkless, adjective

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