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

Success could be as simple as triangulating between them. Rob Mahoney,, "The Jazz Don't Need to Be a Superteam," 26 July 2019 Early in the season, the Clippers carefully triangulated an offense between Tobias Harris, Danilo Gallinari, and Lou Williams. Rob Mahoney,, "How Should the Clippers' Role Players Orbit Around Their Two New Stars?," 2 Aug. 2019 That allowed them to triangulate the position of the whale making the song. Washington Post, "Scientists record singing by rare right whale for first time," 19 June 2019 Police triangulated a cell phone signal to find the vehicle, Williams said. Rob Picheta, CNN, "Four kids steal parent's car and run away on 600-mile road trip," 15 July 2019 This new method will now triangulate the older ones, almost certainly giving far greater accuracy. Quanta Magazine, "How Triangulation Leads to Knowledge," 4 Jan. 2018 Kamala Harris has already triangulated about school desegregation. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "The Pelosi-Versus-Squad Paradigm," 18 July 2019 Before RapidSOS, dispatchers had to rely on older technology that used cellphone towers to triangulate a caller’s location. USA TODAY, "Gator captured, pledge restored, ailing giraffe put down: News from around our 50 states," 16 July 2019 Google is a major player: Venues can upload maps to Google Indoor Maps, which is part of Google Maps, and install Bluetooth beacons or upgraded Wi-Fi access points that let phones triangulate data and help users navigate the venue. Susan Crawford, WIRED, "The Challenge of Helping Blind People Navigate Indoors," 25 June 2019

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

1 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for triangulate

The first known use of triangulate was in 1766

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to spread over or through

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