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 The nationwide network of radiation observatories, built during the Cold War when nuclear war was an ever-present fear, offers a unique chance to triangulate fracking locations and radiation levels. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Fracking Has a Radioactive Problem," 26 Oct. 2020 The city has almost half the people, and more than half the money, but the state is vast and diverse, and a governor has to triangulate. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Andrew Cuomo, the King of New York," 12 Oct. 2020 Workers said they were forced to triangulate their risk based on snatches of rumor and snippets of fact. Anchorage Daily News, "The code: How genetic science helped expose a secret coronavirus outbreak," 24 Sep. 2020 Workers said they were forced to triangulate their risk based on snatches of rumor and snippets of fact. Washington Post, "The outbreak," 24 Sep. 2020 Cameras can also triangulate a fire’s exact location. Carolyn Said,, "Wildfire spotting goes high tech: Can Silicon Valley save Northern California?," 29 Aug. 2020 But her attempts to triangulate policies between left and center flopped. Doyle Mcmanus Los Angeles Times (tns), Star Tribune, "A survey of the territory as Kamala Harris gets her star turn," 19 Aug. 2020 In the event you're arrested, this will keep evidence about your location under wraps; your phone won't be able to ping any cell towers, which could help authorities triangulate your location. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The 3 Things You Must Do to Protect Your Privacy While Protesting," 4 June 2020 While out of battery life, the satellites could still pick up signals to triangulate his location and guide a group of 70 searchers. Matthias Gafni,, "‘Dad’s been shot’: Harrowing story of a Danville family’s tragic off-roading trip," 7 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for triangulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of triangulate was in 1766

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Statistics for triangulate

Last Updated

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Triangulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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