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tertium quid

noun ter·ti·um quid \ˌtər-shē-əm-ˈkwid, ˌtər-tē-\

Definition of tertium quid

  1. 1 :  a middle course or an intermediate component <where there are two systems of law and two orders of courts, there must…be some tertium quid to deal with conflicts of law and jurisdiction — Ernest Baker>

  2. 2 :  a third party of ambiguous status <there was a man and his wife and a tertium quid — Rudyard Kipling>

Origin of tertium quid

Late Latin, literally, third something; from its failing to fit into a dichotomy

First Known Use: circa 1724

Rhymes with tertium quid

Seen and Heard

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tending to dismiss important matters

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