Trunk (?), n. [F. tronc, L.
truncus, fr. truncus maimed, mutilated; perhaps akin to
torquere to twist wrench, and E. torture. Trunk in the
sense of proboscis is fr. F. trompe (the same word as trompe
a trumpet), but has been confused in English with trunk the stem of
a tree (see Trump a trumpet). Cf. Truncate.]
1. The stem, or body, of a tree, apart from its limbs
and roots; the main stem, without the branches; stock; stalk.
About the mossy trunk I wound me soon, Milton.
For, high from ground, the branches would require
Thy utmost reach.
2. The body of an animal, apart from the head and
3. The main body of anything; as, the trunk
of a vein or of an artery, as distinct from the branches.
4. (Arch) That part of a pilaster which is
between the base and the capital, corresponding to the shaft of a
5. (Zoöl.) 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.
6. (Zoöl.) (a) The
proboscis of an elephant. (b) The proboscis of
7. A long tube through which pellets of clay,
p?as, etc., are driven by the force of the breath.
He shot sugarplums them out of a trunk.
8. 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.
Locked up in chests and trunks.
9. (Mining) A flume or sluice in which ores
are separated from the slimes in which they are contained.
10. (Steam Engine) 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
11. 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.
Trunk engine, a marine engine, the piston rod of
which is a trunk. See Trunk, 10. -- Trunk
hose, large breeches formerly worn, reaching to the
knees. -- Trunk line, the main line of a
railway, canal, or route of conveyance. -- Trunk
turtle (Zoöl.), the leatherback.