Definition of trunk in US English:

trunk

noun

  • 1The main woody stem of a tree as distinct from its branches and roots.

    • ‘The distance travelled by fruits after their dispersal was measured from the base of the trunk of respective trees.’
    • ‘Subsequently, poplar trees were divided into leaves, trunk and roots.’
    • ‘In woody plants, the cambial layer in the trunk, branches and roots also retains proliferative capacity.’
    • ‘In the latter sampling period, the stem was further divided into the main trunk and branches.’
    • ‘The steel columns holding up the roof will resemble the trunks and branches of trees.’
    • ‘These gray or gray-green plants live on the branches and trunks of the trees, but they are not parasitic.’
    • ‘Again, if we expose some surface roots at the base of the trunk as in old trees, an appearance of age can be achieved.’
    • ‘He then sat down with his back to Hunter and Jason and began rooting through the fallen trunk of a tree.’
    • ‘The nest is typically located in dense foliage on a horizontal branch near the trunk of a tree, or in a vertical fork.’
    • ‘As it puts down roots, the trunk shoots up and branches spread out.’
    • ‘Scaling studies of other species have suggested that the entire tree, including the trunk, may bend in response to wind.’
    • ‘Regeneration occurs from the branches or the trunk of fallen trees that root into the underlying soil.’
    • ‘Paris admired him from behind the trunk of a deciduous tree.’
    • ‘Whether the tree is large or small, the key is to prune the unwanted branch while protecting the stem or trunk wood of the tree.’
    • ‘The trunk and branches of trees can be used as mulch for gardens, park or animal stalls.’
    • ‘Archaeopteris was a true tree, with a woody trunk, xylem, secondary cambium, and leaves.’
    • ‘Both have woody trunks and woody roots as well as stipulate leaf bases.’
    • ‘With age, the trunk of the tree gets thicker while the root base remains stunted inside the concrete pavements.’
    • ‘Many plants have a number of distinct organs: roots, stems or trunks, leaves, fertile parts.’
    • ‘Trees with large trunks and deep anchoring roots represent the ultimate challenge in withstanding oxygen-deprivation in wetland habitats.’
    main stem, bole, stock
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    1. 1.1 The main part of an artery, nerve, or other anatomical structure from which smaller branches arise.
      • ‘A lateral internal thoracic artery may arise from the thyrocervical trunk.’
      • ‘These plaques can extend to the great veins, coronary sinus, pulmonary trunk, and main pulmonary arteries.’
      • ‘The facial artery may arise by a common trunk with the lingual.’
      • ‘The posterior communicating artery is sometimes joined with the middle cerebral artery instead of the trunk of the internal carotid.’
      • ‘The main trunk of the stapedial artery atrophies and its origin from the internal carotid disappears.’
    2. 1.2
      short for trunk line
    3. 1.3 An enclosed shaft or conduit for cables or ventilation.
      • ‘Tailor-welded blanks are used in the doors, but the trunk is laser welded and built with two sets of tools.’
      • ‘Over the last 25 years work has been carried out on upgrading and refurbishing the old drainage system and providing new trunk sewers.’
      • ‘The scheme comprised the construction of a low-level 1200 mm. diameter tunnel connected into the Thames Water trunk sewer.’
      • ‘Workers cleaned and repaired the Baghdad trunk sewer line and its associated manholes and pumping stations.’
      • ‘We have also strange and artificial echoes and we have means to convey sounds in trunks and pipes in strange lines and distances.’
  • 2A person's or animal's body apart from the limbs and head.

    • ‘A core-focused routine exercises the muscles that support and align the spine, and the stabilizer muscles of the body trunk.’
    • ‘You can extend one arm beyond the other and keep them both straight by twisting the trunk of your body, and rolling at the shoulders.’
    • ‘They are unlike chickenpox, which develops first on the trunk of the body and is seen in various stages of development.’
    • ‘Approximately 80% occur on the head and neck, with the rest mainly on the trunk and lower limbs, particularly in women.’
    • ‘Gradually, the patient developed dystonic posturing of limbs and trunks, had difficulty in walking, dysarthria, drooling of saliva with tremor of limbs.’
    • ‘They may move their trunk and limbs in meaningless ways.’
    • ‘Furthermore, this winding and unwinding of power in the trunk of the body requires fairly strong legs as well to stabilize the swing.’
    • ‘Pressure ulcers were located either on the trunk or nontrunk areas of the body.’
    • ‘The second stage ensues one to four days later with an erythematous maculopapular rash on the trunk and limbs, which may spread to involve large areas.’
    • ‘It typically starts as one large spot, usually on the trunk of the body, and then spreads.’
    • ‘The rash usually starts on the trunk of the body in red bumps.’
    • ‘They are quadriplegics, whose injuries or illnesses affect all four limbs and the trunk.’
    • ‘They are most often found on the trunk of the body and on the arms and legs.’
    • ‘Cross-unders can be quick and precise because the legs have less mass than the trunk of the body.’
    • ‘These effects of microgravity can be reduced by special regimes which exercise the muscles, especially those of the trunk and lower limbs.’
    • ‘Dry skin occurs most commonly on the arms and legs, but can also affect the trunk of the body.’
    • ‘This was in her right face, trunk and limbs for the pins and needles, and just mild problems swallowing.’
    • ‘Most of the children have burns to the trunk and limbs and therefore find it fairly easy to hide their scars and pressure garments under tracksuits and high collared, long sleeved shirts.’
    • ‘The somites, now positioned on either side of the neural tube, give rise to the vertebrae and ribs, to the muscles of the trunk and limbs, and also contribute to the dermis of the skin.’
    • ‘The rash starts on the face and ears and gradually spreads to the trunk and limbs.’
    torso, body
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  • 3The elongated, prehensile nose of an elephant.

    • ‘The trunk is actually an elongation of the nose and has nostrils on the tip.’
    • ‘It was a mosaic of an elephant, his trunk raised to the sky, head tilted back, tusks raised.’
    • ‘Initially, the mahout guides the elephant's trunk over the canvas and offers rewards for good performance.’
    • ‘The White Elephant waved his trunk around at the village.’
    • ‘As this was going on, a clown dressed in a prisoner uniform was led out by two baby elephants, their tiny trunks holding him by his powder white gloves.’
    • ‘The bones belong to an animal in the order Proboscidea - large mammals with trunks - the same order that includes living elephants.’
    • ‘Its trunk allows an elephant to lift a log weighing a ton or more, shell a peanut, and detect odors up to five miles away.’
    • ‘The elephants nosed their trunks toward the stream, taking sips with two finger-like appendages.’
    • ‘Elephant trunks are so powerful, they can kill a person with one swipe, Fay said.’
    • ‘Elephant trunks and tongues are other examples of a muscular hydrostat.’
    • ‘The trunk of an Asian elephant is so exquisitely prehensile that it can pick up a dime from a concrete floor.’
    • ‘The tip of the Asian elephant trunk contains both Pacinian and Meissner corpuscles.’
    • ‘The mucus inside the male elephant's trunk helps deliver a concentrated whiff of the seductive scent.’
    • ‘The first man felt the trunk of the elephant, the second the leg, the third the ear.’
    • ‘The mammals investigate remains with their feet and trunks, paying special attention to the skulls and tusks of even long-dead elephants.’
    • ‘The cameras also showed the elephants standing with their trunks to the ground, as though they were listening, which is probably what they were doing, given that the trunk is also packed with vibration sensors.’
    • ‘It uses its trunk, or proboscis, to gather food and water and also to play, fight, feel its surroundings and detect smells.’
    proboscis, nose, snout
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  • 4A large box with a hinged lid for storing or transporting clothes and other articles.

    • ‘She was glad she kept an extra change of clothes in her trunk.’
    • ‘She set her clothes inside her trunk and closed the door.’
    • ‘Mike put his old clothes in the trunk, and put on his new ones.’
    • ‘And to make matters even more interesting, their emperor has found a whole trunk of new clothes.’
    • ‘She simply nodded, and then began to walk, not even bothering to take any clothes out of the trunk to take with them.’
    • ‘Two trunks with property are stored under the bed, and also two TVs, one on a fold-out desk, the other on a shelf for the top bunk.’
    • ‘Krystal showed the girls to her trunk full of clothes and she gave everyone an outfit, which they put on without hesitating.’
    • ‘I was allowed to follow her into the tiny rectangular storeroom where everyone's clothes and certificates were kept in many sized boxes, trunks, cartons and files.’
    • ‘I had no other choice though; no change of clothes in the trunk, and even if there were, I doubt it'd be acceptable.’
    • ‘She looked through the trunk of clothes kept at the hotel.’
    • ‘Waking up and stretching everything that happened last night came back to her and she shook in off and went to the garage to get her clothes out of her trunk.’
    • ‘Rolling onto her feet, she walked to her dresser and began to lay her clothes into an old trunk.’
    • ‘I dragged in the trunk filled with clothes that Annie and Katie had selected on that big shopping trip we had gone on before I left.’
    • ‘She took her few clothes from her trunk and walked to the wardrobe with them.’
    • ‘Instead she rummaged through the trunk to find some clothes.’
    • ‘Sighing, she grabbed her trunk full of clothes and a canvas bag full of other miscellaneous items, and trudged out the door.’
    • ‘I yelled as I opened the door and saw Annette, who was throwing clothes into her trunk.’
    • ‘These tiny documents were purchased by a flea market trader in a trunk stored in the attic of a prominent Savannah family during the dispersal of an estate.’
    • ‘I had a huge trunk with my clothes and other personal items closed safely inside.’
    • ‘So, I went next door to help her get out of her evening gown and fold some of her day things and store them in her trunk.’
    chest, box, storage box, crate, coffer
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    1. 4.1North American An enclosed space at the back of a car for carrying luggage and other goods.
      British term boot
      • ‘He reached our car and threw the last of our luggage into the trunk.’
      • ‘Dominic turned around in his seat to look behind him - all their luggage was in the trunk, but the backseat was filled with little odds and ends.’
      • ‘Kim sighed and opened the car door, not bothering to unpack the luggage from the trunk.’
      • ‘The right amount of trunk space in a rental car is crucial to getting your golf trip started right.’
      • ‘He lifted my luggage out of the trunk and carried it up the stairs, hardly granting me a look as he passed us and went inside.’
      • ‘Both the rear seat and trunk get decent space, and sliding in and out of the car is considerably easier.’
      • ‘I slid my brother's ring on and off my fingers as I leaned against the passenger seat of my car, waiting for Kes to put the last of her luggage in the trunk.’
      • ‘We both got out of the car and pulled her luggage from the trunk.’
      • ‘My parents were suddenly relegated to the back seat of our station wagon and my brother and I were stuffed in the trunk with the luggage.’
      • ‘After I parked my car in the garage, I took my luggage from the trunk and searched for my house key.’
      • ‘Finally we pulled into the garage and we each grabbed some luggage from the trunk.’
      • ‘Right now we don't generate enough to have a car with a very heavy frame, trunk space, glove compartment, cup holders and air conditioning.’
      • ‘After they loaded their luggage into the trunk everyone climbed into the car and followed the directions to the hotel they'd be staying at.’
      • ‘Eli put Fiona's entire luggage in the trunk and instructed her to get in the car.’
      • ‘We three burst out of the car, grabbed the luggage from the trunk, and just as the bus came up behind us, said our quick good byes even while jogging towards the bus.’
      • ‘We got my luggage in the trunk, and when the driver got into his seat, I was left standing awkwardly with my mom, not knowing what to say.’
      • ‘They walked into the warehouse and left their luggage in the car trunk.’
      • ‘Finally, I chugged the last piece of luggage into the trunk of the car, and slammed it shut.’
      • ‘The luggage went in the trunk, the suits were hung from the hook in the backseat and the console was filled with CDs.’
      • ‘Cat tried to pull their luggage out of the trunk of the car, all the while arguing with Peter on the cell phone.’
      luggage compartment
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French tronc, from Latin truncus.

Pronunciation

trunk

/trəŋk//trəNGk/