Definition of trek in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /trɛk/


1A long arduous journey, especially one made on foot: a trek to the South Pole
More example sentences
  • Named for the 4,672-foot volcanic massif, which from the west appears to have three peaks, the park has a number of trails and hikes, varying from easy strolls to extremely arduous treks.
  • Although he has been part of several groups in his various adventures in the past, he has spent a great deal of these arduous treks in the company of Sir Ranulf Ffiennes.
  • The attack took place along an arduous trek into the wildlife sanctuary on Kapiti Island which is heavily wooded at this time of year.
journey, trip, expedition, safari, odyssey;
hike, march, slog, footslog, tramp, trudge, walk;
long haul
British informal yomp, trog
1.1 (the Trek) South African see Great Trek.
1.2South African A leg or stage of a journey.
2 [mass noun] South African informal A person’s possessions: I was at the new flat waiting for my trek to arrive
3South African A haul of fish caught using a trek net.

verb (treks, trekking, trekked)

1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Go on a long arduous journey, typically on foot: we trekked through the jungle
More example sentences
  • Although his ammo had been replenished, the captain would rather have trekked back to the supply area than witness a fellow soldier die.
  • They had a big fish tank in one corner and he was trekking back and forth between that and a bannister by a flight of stairs way across the room.
  • Director Majid Majidi (The Children of Heaven) follows a blind eight-year-old boy as he treks across the Iranian countryside with his rather distant father.
hike, tramp, march, slog, footslog, trudge, traipse, walk;
travel, journey
British informal yomp, trog
1.1South African Travel constantly from place to place: my plan is to trek about seeing the world
1.2 historical, chiefly South African Migrate or journey with one’s belongings by ox wagon.
1.3 [no object, usually in imperative] South African (Of an ox) draw a vehicle or pull a load: ‘Trek!’ he shouted, and we were off
2 [no object] South African Fish using a trek net: many licences are given to men who trek for sport rather than professional fishermen



Pronunciation: /ˈtrɛkə/
Example sentences
  • The trekkers, who are from Chennai and Ootacamund, will be pulling on their backpacks on December 12, one day after International Mountain Day concludes.
  • The organisers, who included experienced trekkers, wanted a ‘warm-up’ walk before starting the actual climb up the steep rocky slope of the hill.
  • They have visited guest houses, police stations, trekkers ' haunts, enlisted the help of Nepalese guides - and put up thousands of posters pleading for information.


Mid 19th century: from South African Dutch trek (noun), trekken (verb) 'pull, travel'.

  • The Boers were originally Dutch settlers in South Africa, who got their name from the Dutch for ‘countryman, farmer’ ( see boor). Between 1835 and 1837 large numbers of Boers, discontented with British rule in the Cape area of South Africa, migrated north and eventually founded the Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State. This was the Great Trek, which largely introduced the Dutch word trek to the English-speaking world. It came from trekken ‘to pull, travel’, from which track may also derive. During the 19th century the word was restricted to South African contexts, but during the 20th migrated into international English for any long, arduous journey. The US science-fiction television programme Star Trek was not a success when it was first shown in 1966 and has given us Trekkie as a word for a Star Trek fan. The ‘pull’ sense of trekken lies behind the thing you pull on a gun, the trigger (early 17th century).

Words that rhyme with trek

beck, bedeck, check, cheque, Chiang Kai-shek, crosscheck, Czech, deck, dreck, exec, fleck, heck, hitech, keck, lek, neck, peck, Québec, rec, reck, sec, sneck, spec, speck, spot-check, tec, tech, Toulouse-Lautrec, wreck

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: trek

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.