tri·​an·​gu·​late | \ trī-ˈaŋ-gyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce triangulate (audio) \
triangulated; triangulating

Definition of triangulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to survey, map, or determine by triangulation
2a : to divide into triangles
b : to give triangular form to


tri·​an·​gu·​late | \ trī-ˈaŋ-gyə-lət How to pronounce triangulate (audio) \

Definition of triangulate (Entry 2 of 2)

: consisting of or marked with triangles

Examples of triangulate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Working together, the three satellites can triangulate and pinpoint the source of signals. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "How Small Satellites Will Help Police Earth's Vast Oceans," 4 Feb. 2019 The receiver in the bee sensor uses the strength of the signal, and the angle difference between the bee and the base station, to triangulate the insect’s position. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "Backpack-wearing bumblebees could buzz fields, tell farmers how crops are doing," 13 Dec. 2018 When the mics pick up a noise that matches the signature sound of a gunshot, the ShotSpotter system triangulates a location and sends the recording and associated information to a human being who decides whether the sound was, in fact, a gunshot. Dan Rosenbaum, Ars Technica, "All hail the AI overlord: Smart cities and the AI Internet of Things," 7 Dec. 2018 Attackers could also get Google Home and Chromecast to cough up information about the Wi-Fi network they are connected to, and triangulate it with the list of nearby Wi-Fi networks to accurately geolocate the devices. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Millions of Streaming Devices Are Vulnerable to a Retro Web Attack," 19 June 2018 Your foot hovers somewhere between the gas and the brake, waiting for your brain to triangulate their intent: Is that one trying to cross the street, or just waiting for the bus? Matt Simon, WIRED, "Why Did the Human Cross the Road? To Confuse the Self-Driving Car," 10 July 2018 Kim Jong Un seems to be triangulating and splitting the pressure campaign. CBS News, "Kim Jong Un complains of U.S. "hegemonism" to Russia's Sergey Lavrov," 31 May 2018 Well, there’s a lot more sources than that, for starters, because everything is triangulated and checked against other people Right. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Jessica Pressler talks ‘lady grifters’ + Ken Auletta on the ‘frenemies’ of the ad business on Recode Media," 24 June 2018 If that bloc holds for Beutner, a fifth vote could come from Richard Vladovic, who has triangulated between opposing district factions without alienating them. Howard Blume,, "The power game behind the search for a new L.A. schools leader," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'triangulate.' 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 triangulate


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1766, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for triangulate


Medieval Latin triangulatus, past participle of triangulare to make triangles, from Latin triangulum

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Last Updated

3 Mar 2019

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The first known use of triangulate was in 1766

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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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