Trent, river, c.170 mi (270 km) long, rising on Biddulph Moor, Staffordshire, W England. It flows generally NE through central England before joining with the Ouse River to form the Humber estuary. The Trent, the third longest river of England, passes through the Potteries district, Burton upon Trent, and Nottingham. Its chief tributary is the River Dove. There is a high tidal bore in the lower course of the Trent. It is navigable for barges to Nottingham; canals connect it with other river systems. Water from the Trent is used as coolant in thermal power plants along its course.