Definition of entrench in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈtren(t)SH/
Pronunciation: /enˈtren(t)SH/
(also dated intrench)


1 [with object] Establish (an attitude, habit, or belief) so firmly that change is very difficult or unlikely: ageism is entrenched in our society
More example sentences
  • Much of this reaction was informed by the firmly entrenched cultural beliefs associated with these creatures.
  • Unhealthy habits are entrenched in the lives of British children by the time they are 11 years old, world medical experts will be told this month.
  • Given the absence of an enabling set-up, biases are firmly entrenched within the institutional framework as policies.
establish, settle, lodge, set, root, install, plant, embed, seat;
informal dig (oneself) in
ingrained, established, well established, confirmed, fixed, firm, deep-seated, deep-rooted;
unshakable, indelible, ineradicable, inexorable
1.1Establish (a person or their authority) in a position of great strength or security: by 1947 de Gaulle’s political opponents were firmly entrenched in power
More example sentences
  • As a first-term Republican congressman, he is solidly entrenched in the Washington, D.C., world of campaign finance.
  • I think he's too entrenched in the system to be dynamic about trying to get out of it.
  • But the luxury of having all the right features comes only if you're so entrenched in the market that you can afford the R&D to do that.
1.2Apply extra legal safeguards to (a right, especially a constitutional right, guaranteed by legislation).
Example sentences
  • We look forward to amendments further down the track to expand and entrench this legislation.
  • Under the ACT Self Government Act, there is a possibility to entrench some laws, but the government here has decided not to take that route.
  • Because this legislation, which entrenches the power of traditional leaders over their rural subjects, will make life infinitely worse for the 15 million overwhelmingly poor people who live in the former Bantustans.
1.3Establish (a military force, camp, etc.) in trenches or other fortified positions.
Example sentences
  • Their forces are entrenched very deep farther to the East.
  • For now, his forces were entrenched safely, but if their luck started to turn, the platform would become a slaughterhouse.
  • Garrisons suggest a more entrenched military encampment, using tents rather than blankets.
2 [no object] (entrench on/upon) archaic Encroach or trespass upon.
Example sentences
  • The case is quite different from that in which an outright owner of property finds that his ownership is entrenched upon by some outside intervention in the form of taxation.
  • I made it very clear I wasn't entrenching on anybody's independence and I don't think that anybody… could have drawn any other conclusion.
  • It is at the point where construction is necessary that we find out whether Chapter III entrenches on what the language otherwise authorises.



Pronunciation: /inˈtren(t)SHmənt/
Pronunciation: /enˈtren(t)SHmənt/
Example sentences
  • Such a weight of tradition and entrenchment in the country's constitutional life should not be ditched lightly, say opponents of the reforms.
  • ‘To attempt to fight the enemy slowly back to his intrenchments in Richmond… is an idea I have been trying to repudiate for quite a year,’ wrote Lincoln in September 1863.
  • Consequently, naval barrages were fired on a flat trajectory that was unsuitable for reducing Turkish entrenchments.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'place within a trench'): from en-1, in-2 'into' + trench.

Words that rhyme with entrench

backbench, bench, blench, clench, Dench, drench, French, frontbench, quench, stench, tench, trench, wench, wrench

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: en·trench

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