Definition of truss in English:



  • 1A framework, typically consisting of rafters, posts, and struts, supporting a roof, bridge, or other structure.

    ‘roof trusses’
    • ‘Using chain pulls, workers then lifted the panel and loosely connected it to attic posts, attached to roof trusses.’
    • ‘To provide this stability, the roof trusses were connected by pins to reinforced-concrete buttresses, or thrust blocks, at each end.’
    • ‘Again, two crossbeams with camel's hump-shaped braces support the roof truss, and there is no king post.’
    • ‘An adjacent intermodal bus depot is also being rebuilt, with six roof trusses 45 ft to 108 ft long and 8 ft deep replacing piers.’
    • ‘We had to dismantle the roof structure without any trusses or center ring apparatus free-falling.’
    support, buttress, joist, brace, prop, strut, stay, stanchion, shore, pier
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A large projection of stone or timber, typically one supporting a cornice.
      • ‘From the low-beamed ceiling he unlashed a hammock and tied it to a truss by the fireplace wall.’
      • ‘While the struts appear to partially compensate for the under sizing of the joists, the king-post trusses are more difficult to rationalize.’
      • ‘Outside, the house is articulated by angled timber trusses, slatted decking and louvered sun guards.’
      • ‘Structurally, it acts like a giant ribcage consisting of 25 vertically spanning timber trusses.’
      • ‘Supported by timber trusses and arboreal columns, the restaurant's great monopitch roof recalls the traditional African stoep or veranda.’
  • 2A surgical appliance worn to support a hernia, typically a padded belt.

    • ‘For symptomatic hernias in younger men a truss may allow continuation of heavy work with greater comfort while awaiting operation.’
    • ‘Wearing a truss may help to relieve the discomfort of a hernia, but will not improve the condition, and in some cases can cause further damage.’
    • ‘A truss is rarely used nowadays, only when surgery is not possible or needs to be delayed.’
    • ‘A truss is a strap like device to prevent a hernia from bulging.’
    • ‘If the hernia goes back into the abdomen easily and the patient is an elderly unfit man, a truss can be worn.’
    surgical appliance, support, pad
    View synonyms
  • 3British historical A bundle of old hay (56 lb), new hay (60 lb), or straw (36 lb).

    • ‘In 1795, Parliament specified that a truss of hay should equal 56 pounds for old hay or 60 pounds (about 27.2 kilograms) for new hay.’
    • ‘But when Saturday morning came the thief got up early and hid himself under a truss of hay in the hayloft.’
    • ‘A truss of hay of 66 pounds is therefore equal to 28 pounds of oats, or a bushel of the best oats will go as far as one truss and a half of hay.’
  • 4A compact cluster of flowers or fruit growing on one stalk.

    • ‘Plants were topped two leaves above the fourth truss.’
    • ‘Once your rhododendrons have bloomed, you can help maintain flowering by deadheading their spent flower trusses.’
    • ‘All axillary buds were removed, and six fruits were retained per truss.’
    • ‘A weekly assessment of the number of flowers per truss and trusses per plant was also made.’
    • ‘Flowers were pollinated by hand and trusses pruned to four fruit.’
  • 5Sailing
    A heavy metal ring securing the lower yards to a mast.

    • ‘Once deployed, the sails would be supported by ultralightweight trusses.’
    • ‘For, without the truss, the sail and its yard would be blown from the mast, so as to swing about, by the action of the wind, and the rolling of the vessel.’
    • ‘The truss units have quite a sophisticated internal shape to incorporate the winch and drive units for furling and unfurling the sails.’


  • 1Tie up the wings and legs of (a chicken or other bird) before cooking.

    ‘Alfred had already trussed and stuffed the geese’
    • ‘Our first demonstration was in trussing and preparing a fowl for the dinner table.’
    • ‘Place 1/3 of the orange peels in the cavity of the duck and truss it.’
    • ‘Having plucked and trussed these long beaked birds, leaving the remaining entrails undisturbed, pull out the stomachs and intestines (guts).’
    • ‘She follows the clear directions for trussing the bird.’
    • ‘The lamb is then sewn up, trussed, and cooked on a spit.’
    • ‘The next three steps - stuffing, trussing, and roasting - are the real keys to success, so leave plenty of time to proceed carefully.’
    • ‘On Christmas Eve, with presents wrapped and turkey trussed, many people in Britain settled down to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on television.’
    • ‘Here I have trussed my chicken for the first time.’
    • ‘Others are trussed up ready for roasting, with marinade flavours from lemon to garlic and herbs injected deep into their flesh.’
    1. 1.1Tie up (someone) with their arms at their sides.
      ‘I found him trussed up in his cupboard’
      • ‘They could easily just truss them up and steal what they want to steal.’
      • ‘He was trussed up with those chains like a sacrifice laid out for slaughter.’
      • ‘He soon came to the realisation that he was trussed up and hanging upside down from what looked like a fish hook, a bigger version of that at least.’
      • ‘He said they trussed up Mr Jones and then nailed him down.’
      • ‘His arms were trussed with wire by his attackers.’
      • ‘A teenager was kidnapped, trussed up with his hands and feet bound together behind his back, a court heard.’
      • ‘Her male colleague is trussed in a straitjacket.’
      • ‘He trussed them up and dragged them back to the staffroom.’
      • ‘Van and Rina sat on either side of the girl, who was trussed up with rope and cloth.’
      • ‘Beside her, the majority of the camp's guards were gagged, trussed and unconscious.’
      • ‘The villains have them all trussed up down by the stream.’
      • ‘It wasn't easy, especially with him trussed in chains, but by pulling and lifting, I finally got him through the opening.’
      • ‘Unjustly imprisoned in a French island fortress, he escaped by having himself trussed up as a corpse and flung into the sea.’
      • ‘Eventually he was taken away with his hands trussed behind his back and a hood draped over his head.’
      • ‘The pirates had found him cowering in a supply locker, and had trussed him up and hauled him in there.’
      • ‘We have incidents of vandalism but to have this sort of robbery with a man trussed up is terrible.’
      • ‘Nobody could believe it when he was found dead, naked and trussed up in handcuffs, blindfold and gagged.’
      • ‘The weaker members were trussed up and tied to the backs of the elephants.’
      tie up, bind, chain up
      pinion, fetter, tether, secure, fasten
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Dress (someone) in elaborate or uncomfortable clothing.
      ‘he was trussed up in a heavily padded suit, complete with face mask and protective gloves’
  • 2Support (a roof, bridge, or other structure) with a truss or trusses.

    • ‘Unseen above the ceiling of the nave, inserted in 1670-1, is Kempley's second exceptional feature, its roof of trussed rafter construction.’
    • ‘The base and armature is a trussed column of welded stainless steel tubing - a relatively nimble footing for the mass that sprouts from it.’
    • ‘Slabs, beams, and girders all make use of straight and trussed bars.’
    • ‘Traditional construction of trussed roofs has these timbers built into the main walls for bearing in what is the most likely part of the wall to be wet.’
    • ‘The response of engineers to this disaster was to go back to building bridges with reinforced trussed decks.’
    prop up, hold up, bolster up, support, brace, buttress, strengthen, fortify, reinforce, underpin, stay
    View synonyms


Middle English (in the sense ‘bundle’): from Old French trusse (noun), trusser ‘pack up, bind in’, based on late Latin tors- twisted, from the verb torquere. truss dates from the mid 17th century.