from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The main woody axis of a tree.
  • n. Architecture The shaft of a column.
  • n. The body of a human or animal excluding the head and limbs.
  • n. The thorax of an insect.
  • n. A proboscis, especially the long prehensile proboscis of an elephant.
  • n. A main body, apart from tributaries or appendages.
  • n. The main stem of a blood vessel or nerve apart from the branches.
  • n. A trunk line.
  • n. A chute or conduit.
  • n. Nautical A watertight shaft connecting two or more decks.
  • n. Nautical The housing for the centerboard of a vessel.
  • n. Nautical Any of certain structures projecting above part of a main deck, as:
  • n. Nautical A covering over the hatches of a ship.
  • n. Nautical An expansion chamber on a tanker.
  • n. Nautical A cabin on a small boat.
  • n. A covered compartment for luggage and storage, generally at the rear of an automobile.
  • n. A large packing case or box that clasps shut, used as luggage or for storage.
  • n. Shorts worn for swimming or other athletics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The (usually single) upright part of a tree, between the roots and the branches: the tree trunk.
  • n. A large suitcase, usually requiring two persons to lift and with a hinged lid.
  • n. The torso.
  • n. The extended and articulated nose or nasal organ of an elephant.
  • n. The luggage storage compartment of a sedan/saloon style car.
  • n. A circuit between telephone switchboards or other switching equipment.
  • n. a chute or conduit, or a watertight shaft connecting two or more decks.
  • n. in software projects under source control: the most current source tree, from which the latest unstable builds (so-called "trunk builds") are compiled.
  • n. A main line in a river, canal, railroad, or highway system.
  • v. To lop off; to curtail; to truncate.
  • v. To extract (ores) from the slimes in which they are contained, by means of a trunk.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The stem, or body, of a tree, apart from its limbs and roots; the main stem, without the branches; stock; stalk.
  • n. The body of an animal, apart from the head and limbs.
  • n. The main body of anything.
  • n. That part of a pilaster which is between the base and the capital, corresponding to the shaft of a column.
  • n. That segment of the body of an insect which is between the head and abdomen, and bears the wings and legs; the thorax; the truncus.
  • n.
  • n. The proboscis of an elephant.
  • n. The proboscis of an insect.
  • n. A long tube through which pellets of clay, p�as, etc., are driven by the force of the breath.
  • n. A box or chest usually covered with leather, metal, or cloth, or sometimes made of leather, hide, or metal, for containing clothes or other goods; especially, one used to convey the effects of a traveler.
  • n. A flume or sluice in which ores are separated from the slimes in which they are contained.
  • n. A large pipe forming the piston rod of a steam engine, of sufficient diameter to allow one end of the connecting rod to be attached to the crank, and the other end to pass within the pipe directly to the piston, thus making the engine more compact.
  • n. A long, large box, pipe, or conductor, made of plank or metal plates, for various uses, as for conveying air to a mine or to a furnace, water to a mill, grain to an elevator, etc.
  • transitive v. To lop off; to curtail; to truncate; to maim.
  • transitive v. To extract (ores) from the slimes in which they are contained, by means of a trunk. See Trunk, n., 9.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A long conduit or system with grids through which cotton is forced to be cleared of dust and refuse in its passage from the opener to the scutcher or picker.
  • n. In ship-building, a large inclosed duct or passage through the decks or bulkheads of a vessel for coaling, ventilation, passing ammunition, etc.
  • n. A trunk-line.
  • Chief; main; principal: as, the trunk mains of a system of water or gas distribution; a trunk railway line.
  • To lop off; curtail; truncate.
  • To separate, as tin or copper ore, from the worthless veinstone, by the use of the trunk.
  • n. The woody stem of a tree, from which the branches spring.
  • n. In architecture, the shaft of a column; the part between the base and the capital. The term is sometimes used to signify the die or body of a pedestal. See cut under column.
  • n. The main part or stem of a branching organ or system of organs, considered apart from its ramifications: as, the trunk of an artery, a vein, or a nerve; the trunk of a zoöphyte or coral. Also truncus.
  • n. The human body or that of an animal without the head and limbs, and, in animals, the tail, or considered apart from these; in literary use, the body.
  • n. A receptacle with stiff sides and a hinged cover or upper part, used especially for carrying clothes, toilet articles, etc., for a journey.
  • n. In fishing, an iron hoop with a bag, used to catch crustaceans.
  • n. A tube of various kinds and uses.
  • n. A telescope.
  • n. A pea- or bean-shooter; a long tube through which peas, pellets, etc., were driven by the force of the breath.
  • n. A boxed passage for air to or from a blast-apparatus or blowing-engine; an air-shaft.
  • n. A boxed passage up or down which grain or flour is conveyed in an elevator or mill.
  • n. A box-tube used to send attle or rubbish out of a mine, or to convey coal to a wagon or heap, broken quartz from a mill to the stamps, etc.
  • n. A long, narrow trough which was formerly used in Cornwall in dressing copper- and tin-slimes.
  • n. A wooden box or pipe of square section in which air is conveyed in a mine.
  • n. A kibble.
  • n. A trough to convey water from a race to a water-wheel, etc.; a flume; a penstock.
  • n. In trunk-engines, a section of pipe attached to a piston and moving longitudinally with it, its diameter being sufficient to allow one end of the connecting-rod to be attached to the crank and the other end directly to the piston, thus dispensing with an intermediate rod: used in marine engines for driving propellers, also in some stationary steam-engines, and extensively in caloric engines.
  • n. A proboscis; a long snout; especially, the proboscis of the elephant; less frequently, the proboscis of other animals, as butterflies, flies, mosquitos and other gnats, and certain mollusks and worms. See the applications of proboscis.
  • n. plural Trunk-hose.
  • n. In hat-manuf., the tube or directing passage in a machine for forming the bodies of hats, which confines the air-currents, and guides the fibers of fur from the picker to the cone.
  • n. plural Same as troll-madam or pigeonholes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. luggage consisting of a large strong case used when traveling or for storage
  • n. the main stem of a tree; usually covered with bark; the bole is usually the part that is commercially useful for lumber
  • n. compartment in an automobile that carries luggage or shopping or tools
  • n. the body excluding the head and neck and limbs
  • n. a long flexible snout as of an elephant


Middle English trunke, from Old French tronc, from Latin truncus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English trunke, from Old French tronc ("alms box, tree trunk, headless body"), from Latin truncus ("a stock, lopped tree trunk"), from truncus ("cut off, maimed, mutilated"). For the verb, compare French tronquer, and see truncate. (Wiktionary)



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