tri·​ad | \ ˈtrī-ˌad How to pronounce triad (audio) also -əd \

Definition of triad

1 : a union or group of three : trinity
2 : a chord of three tones consisting of a root with its third and fifth and constituting the harmonic basis of tonal music

Other Words from triad

triadic \ trī-​ˈa-​dik How to pronounce triad (audio) \ adjective
triadically \ trī-​ˈa-​di-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce triad (audio) \ adverb

Did you know?

The best-known type of triad is a type of musical chord consisting of three notes. A D-major triad is made up of the notes D, F-sharp, and A; an F-minor triad is made up of F, A-flat, and C; and so on. Major and minor triads form the basis of tonal music, and songs and other pieces usually end with a triadic harmony. In medicine, a triad is a set of three symptoms that go together. The Chinese criminal organizations called triads got their name from the triangular symbol that they used back when they began, centuries ago, as patriotic organizations. Today, with over 100,000 members, the triads operate in the U.S., Canada, and many other countries.

Examples of triad in a Sentence

a triad of candlesticks on the mantel
Recent Examples on the Web The truth is, every organization is now a triad of people, property and data. John Griffin Jr, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Soprano Angel Blue takes a triple turn in her triad of roles as Destiny/Loneliness/Greta — visitations that open key parts of Charles’s inner turmoil; and soprano Latonia Moore plays Blow’s resilient mother Billie. Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2021 One, into the use of a guitar as a very orchestral thing with a triad of melody going on. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 14 Sep. 2021 Page Six confirmed that the middle picture in this triad is in fact of Lilibet, with her dad Prince Harry leaning over her and kissing her. Iris Goldsztajn, Marie Claire, 5 Aug. 2021 Critics have questioned whether the triad of symptoms associated with those types of cases — subdural and retinal bleeding and brain swelling — is definitive evidence of abuse., 28 July 2021 Yes, not necessarily, and, with the right shoes, absolutely, for those wondering about the triad above. Eliza Huber,, 1 July 2021 But even many that are well on their way struggle to manage the multitude of tasks that inevitably accompany the triad of improving products, technology and processes at the same time. Jan Webering, Forbes, 11 May 2021 The triad of neurological symptoms has been so consuming that the threat of the coronavirus itself blipped almost entirely off Diana’s radar. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 27 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'triad.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of triad

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for triad

Latin triad-, trias, from Greek, from treis three

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Cite this Entry

“Triad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for triad



English Language Learners Definition of triad

: a group of three usually related people or things
: a secret Chinese criminal organization


tri·​ad | \ ˈtrī-ˌad How to pronounce triad (audio) \

Kids Definition of triad

: a chord made up usually of the first, third, and fifth notes of a scale


tri·​ad | \ ˈtrī-ˌad also -əd \

Medical Definition of triad

1 : a union or group of three a triad of symptoms
2 : a trivalent element, atom, or radical

Other Words from triad

triadic \ trī-​ˈad-​ik How to pronounce triad (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on triad

Nglish: Translation of triad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of triad for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about triad


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