tertium quid

ter·​ti·​um quid | \ ˌtər-shē-əm-ˈkwid How to pronounce tertium quid (audio) , ˌtər-tē- \

Definition of tertium quid

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

First Known Use of tertium quid

circa 1724, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tertium quid

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

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The first known use of tertium quid was circa 1724

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Cite this Entry

“Tertium quid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tertium%20quid. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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