Definition of truss in US English:



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

    ‘roof trusses’
    • ‘We had to dismantle the roof structure without any trusses or center ring apparatus free-falling.’
    • ‘Using chain pulls, workers then lifted the panel and loosely connected it to attic posts, attached to roof trusses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To provide this stability, the roof trusses were connected by pins to reinforced-concrete buttresses, or thrust blocks, at each end.’
    support, buttress, joist, brace, prop, strut, stay, stanchion, shore, pier
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    1. 1.1 A 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.’
      • ‘Supported by timber trusses and arboreal columns, the restaurant's great monopitch roof recalls the traditional African stoep or veranda.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A surgical appliance worn to support a hernia, typically a padded belt.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For symptomatic hernias in younger men a truss may allow continuation of heavy work with greater comfort while awaiting operation.’
    • ‘If the hernia goes back into the abdomen easily and the patient is an elderly unfit man, a truss can be worn.’
    • ‘A truss is a strap like device to prevent a hernia from bulging.’
    surgical appliance, support, pad
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  • 3British historical A bundle of old hay (56 lb), new hay (60 lb), or straw (36 lb).

    • ‘But when Saturday morning came the thief got up early and hid himself under a truss of hay in the hayloft.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.

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

    • ‘The truss units have quite a sophisticated internal shape to incorporate the winch and drive units for furling and unfurling the sails.’
    • ‘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.’


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

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unseen above the ceiling of the nave, inserted in 1670-1, is Kempley's second exceptional feature, its roof of trussed rafter construction.’
    • ‘The response of engineers to this disaster was to go back to building bridges with reinforced trussed decks.’
    • ‘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.’
    prop up, hold up, bolster up, support, brace, buttress, strengthen, fortify, reinforce, underpin, stay
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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 (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the mid 17th century.