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

transitive verb

: to survey, map, or determine by triangulation
: to divide into triangles
: to give triangular form to


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tri·​an·​gu·​late trī-ˈaŋ-gyə-lət How to pronounce triangulate (audio)
: consisting of or marked with triangles

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
But most of the rest blur together over nearly two hours in a sound neatly triangulated by those styles; the typical Morgan Wallen song blends country, rap and rock in a way similar to the typical Post Malone song (albeit in slightly different proportions). Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2023 And so, to triangulate this theme, ask for a Wayne Thiebaud painting of a bookstore, and the system can do smashingly well. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 1 Mar. 2023 Lacking the length and height of an Antetokounmpo or other oversized NBA big men, Adebayo triangulated a place where his height and high release point could get him over the top against the 7-footers who had been daring him to meet at the rim. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 18 Feb. 2023 After 42 years with no leads, the local sheriff’s office wanted to try a relatively new technique pioneered in the Golden State Killer case, combing through consumer genetic databases to find the man’s relatives, however distant, to triangulate his identity. New York Times, 27 Mar. 2022 Though Boi-1da, with his production credits on both Renaissance and Mr. Morale, could easily (and deservedly) triangulate his way to a win. Leah Greenblatt,, 2 Feb. 2023 If your boat sends out its own noise, an enemy submarine can triangulate that position. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 25 Jan. 2023 Early applications required timing usage with the availability of enough satellites to triangulate a position. Daniel Wolfe, Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2023 The Bluetooth-enabled AirTag piggybacks onto the connection of Apple devices in its proximity to help triangulate its whereabouts. Geoff Nudelman, WSJ, 19 May 2021
Astronomers suspected some of these signals are likely caused by flares streaming off magnetars many billions of light-years away, but the telescopes can't quite triangulate where the signals are coming from. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 21 Jan. 2021 In the past, ecologists would take radio receivers into the field to painstakingly triangulate tigers’ locations once or twice a day in natural landscapes. Neil Carter, The Conversation, 23 Apr. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'triangulate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1766, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of triangulate was in 1766

Dictionary Entries Near triangulate

Cite this Entry

“Triangulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

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