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1. the main stem of a tree, usually thick and upright, covered with bark and having branches at some distance from the ground
2. Anatomy the body excluding the head, neck, and limbs; torso
3. the elongated prehensile nasal part of an elephant; proboscis
4. US and Canadian an enclosed compartment of a car for holding luggage, etc., usually at the rear
5. Anatomy the main stem of a nerve, blood vessel, etc.
6. Nautical a watertight boxlike cover within a vessel with its top above the waterline, such as one used to enclose a centreboard
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the highly developed stem of ligneous plants, which is substantially thicker and taller than lateral branches. In trees with monopodial branching the trunk is the main axis that develops from the growing point of the sprout. In trees with sympodial branching the trunk is formed from successive secondary axes.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a trunk?

The trunk of a tree may represent one’s inner sense of well-being and personality. A thick bark over a large, hefty trunk denotes a strong, rugged, and durable person. A thin, narrow, bark-free tree trunk suggests a highly sensitive but wiry individual. If the trunk is the long nose of an elephant, the dreamer may have a strong “nose for the news” and a very good memory. Alternatively an elephant’s trunk may have a phallic and sexual meaning. Finally, a trunk in the sense of an old-fashioned storage case may reveal the old memories and secrets to which the dreamer is clinging.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


The main mass of the human body, exclusive of the head, neck, and extremities; it is divided into thorax, abdomen, and pelvis.
The main stem of a tree.
A path over which information is transferred in a computer.
A telephone line connecting two central offices. Also known as trunk circuit.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A shared communications channel between two points. Coined by the telephone industry, a trunk typically refers to a high-bandwidth, fiber-optic line between switching centers (central offices). Telephone trunks handle thousands of simultaneous voice and data signals, whereas telephone "lines" are the wires from the central office to the customer.

The term migrated to the information networking industry and may refer to a high-speed or medium-speed channel for data packets.

SIP Trunks
With the advent of voice over IP (VoIP), a SIP trunk is assigned by a SIP provider to a customer, and a single trunk supports one or more telephone numbers (see SIP trunking). See central office.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was hard not to think of Shelley's Ozymandias: "Two trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert ..."--except, unlike Egypt's king of kings, what remained of the Kremlin's ruler were two trunkless boots of bronze.
In the case of Shelley's "Ozymandias" the fact that the poem has nothing to do with the poet/speaker's personal physical experience is announced by the first line, which tells us explicitly that the person who had the fictive experience that the poem uses as its central metaphor was not the poet-speaker at all, but "a traveler": Ozymandias I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert.
Traditional 'folk' jokes, such as the legless doublet (Somebody) and the trunkless breeches (Nobody), appeared as 'hocricanes and 'hosnagues' in the Ballet Royal du Grand Bal de la Douairiere de Billebahaut in February 1626, a motif known in Jacobean England in ballad and playbook illustrations, and in Barbican, London, as the shop sign of John Trundle, publisher and bookseller.
On September 10th, The Times reported that on `the 10th of August last ELEVEN THOUSAND PERSONS were massacred in Paris' and, during the three days from September 4th to 6th, a further `TWELVE THOUSAND PERSONS [...] their trunkless heads and mangled bodies carried about the streets on pikes'.
The colossal statue's "two vast and trunkless legs of stone" and "shattered visage" are scattered in rubble as testimony to the discouraging victories of time.
Under the five-year agreement, worth approximately USD480m, Nortel will supply cdmaOne equipment and services, including a 100% trunkless prepaid system.
Islands were selected based on extent of decline in their Sabal palmetto population Three islands with apparently healthy palm populations (denoted "H" or "healthy") had high densities of large healthy palms and of small trunkless palms ("trunkless" here refers to palms in the establishment phase, during which the stem grows downward and increases in diameter for several years before emerging aboveground [Tomlinson 1990]).