triad

play
noun tri·ad \ˈtrī-ˌad also -əd\

Definition of triad

  1. 1 :  a union or group of three :  trinity

  2. 2 :  a chord of three tones consisting of a root with its third and fifth and constituting the harmonic basis of tonal music

triadic

play \trī-ˈa-dik\ adjective

triadically

play \-di-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of triad in a Sentence

  1. a triad of candlesticks on the mantle

Recent Examples of triad from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of triad

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


First Known Use: 1546


TRIAD Defined for English Language Learners

triad

play
noun

Definition of triad for English Language Learners

  • : a group of three usually related people or things

  • : a secret Chinese criminal organization


TRIAD Defined for Kids

triad

play
noun tri·ad \ˈtrī-ˌad\

Definition of triad for Students

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


Medical Dictionary

triad

play
noun tri·ad \ˈtrī-ˌad also -əd\

Medical Definition of triad

  1. 1:  a union or group of three a triad of symptoms

  2. 2:  a trivalent element, atom, or radical

triadic

\trī-ˈad-ik\play adjective


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up triad? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a lively discussion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!