- the main stem of a tree, as distinct from the branches and roots.
- a large, sturdy box or chest for holding or transporting clothes, personal effects, or other articles.
- a large compartment, usually in the rear of an automobile, in which luggage, a spare tire, and other articles may be kept.
- the body of a person or an animal excluding the head and limbs; torso.
- Ichthyology. the part of a fish between the head and the anus.
- the shaft of a column.
- the dado or die of a pedestal.
- the main channel, artery, or line in a river, railroad, highway, canal, or other tributary system.
- 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.
- Anatomy. the main body of an artery, nerve, or the like, as distinct from its branches.
- brief shorts, loose-fitting or tight, worn by men chiefly for boxing, swimming, and track.
- Obsolete.trunk hose.
- the long, flexible, cylindrical nasal appendage of the elephant.
- 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.
- a conduit; shaft; chute.
- of, relating to, or noting a main channel or line, as of a railroad or river.
Origin of trunk
Examples from the Web for trunks
And elephants do occasionally use their trunks as snorkels while swimming.Why Aristotle Deserves A Posthumous Nobel
October 18, 2014
On 18 May, Spitz led Moore to Prien, where they located a large collection of trunks and crates belonging to Schwend.On the Trail of Nazi Counterfeiters
Dr. Kevin C. Ruffner
September 20, 2014
His own trunks could do with urgent restyling, away from their current “Spanx diaper” vibe.Putin Vs. Obama—In Spandex: Wrestling’s New Cold War
May 14, 2014
The Border Patrol checkpoint rarely catches drug mules making their way from Mexico or border crossers hidden in trunks.U.S. Drug and Immigration Checkpoints Take Toll on Border Towns
Andrew Becker, G. W. Schulz
June 18, 2013
A tornado does not just topple trees, it tears off their branches and twists their trunks until they splinter.Oklahoma Tornado Devastation: What the Twister Left Behind
May 22, 2013
"I will return and take my trunks," she said; and a carriage was called.The Incomplete Amorist
These piles were stems, or trunks of trees, sharpened with stone or bronze tools.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
Do me the favour to see to the trunks, if you please, Mr Pinch.'Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
See that I have my trunks, for there was nothing about the Custom-house in my contract.My Double Life
There are no sounds of life, no trunks in the hall, and no idlers at the door.Roden's Corner
Henry Seton Merriman
- Also called: swimming trunks a man's garment worn for swimming, either fairly loose and extending from the waist to the thigh or briefer and close-fitting
- shorts worn for some sports
- mainly British men's underpants with legs that reach midthigh
- the main stem of a tree, usually thick and upright, covered with bark and having branches at some distance from the ground
- a large strong case or box used to contain clothes and other personal effects when travelling and for storage
- anatomy the body excluding the head, neck, and limbs; torso
- the elongated prehensile nasal part of an elephant; proboscis
- 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
- anatomy the main stem of a nerve, blood vessel, etc
- nautical a watertight boxlike cover within a vessel with its top above the waterline, such as one used to enclose a centreboard
- an enclosed duct or passageway for ventilation, etc
- (modifier) of or relating to a main road, railway, etc, in a networka trunk line
Word Origin and History for trunks
mid-15c., "box, case," from Old French tronc "alms box in a church" (12c.), also "trunk of a tree, trunk of the human body," from Latin truncus, originally "mutilated, cut off." The meaning "box, case" is likely to be from the notion of the body as the "case" of the organs. English acquired the other two senses of the Old French in late 15c.: "main stem of a tree" and "torso of a human body." The sense of "luggage compartment of a motor vehicle" is from 1930. The use in reference to an elephant's snout is from 1560s, perhaps from confusion with trump (short for trumpet). Railroad trunk line is attested from 1843; telephone version is from 1889.
- The body excluding the head and limbs.
- The main stem of a blood vessel or nerve apart from the branches.
- A large collecting lymphatic vessel.