tri·​an·​gu·​la·​tion | \ (ˌ)trī-ˌaŋ-gyə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce triangulation (audio) \

Definition of triangulation

1 : the measurement of the elements necessary to determine the network of triangles into which any part of the earth's surface is divided in surveying broadly : any similar trigonometric operation for finding a position or location by means of bearings from two fixed points a known distance apart
2 : a political strategy that involves presenting oneself as being above partisan politics by espousing a position that is between two extremes They immediately pushed Clinton to the right, enacting the now-infamous strategy of "triangulation," which co-opted Republican policies like welfare reform and tax cuts and emphasized small-bore issues that supposedly cut across the ideological divide.The Nation … he is pursuing a poll-driven strategy of triangulation. He is distancing himself from conservatives in the Republican Party and running as a wobbly moderate under the banner of "compassion."— Gary L. Bauer The Tories and Labour are testing the patience of the voters. Mrs May comes from a generation of politicians that sees politics as a cautious game of triangulation: whatever lies midway between two extremes is the best path to take.The Daily Telegraph

Examples of triangulation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The receivers get these chirps and do some interesting operations on them (e.g. triangulation, angle-of-arrival, time of flight, time difference of flight, …) and estimate the location. Quora, Forbes, 24 June 2022 Quanming’s Nokia held its battery charge for the entire five-day search period, and its signal was picked up by GPS triangulation. Lauren Steele, Outside Online, 1 July 2014 Families where the communication strategy is triangulation often have these giant issues with sorting out what is the truth. Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2022 The idea behind this current bit of Bill Clinton-style triangulation is to position Republicans as anti-debt but not pro-default. W. James Antle Iii, The Week, 8 Oct. 2021 That exact location is established with instant triangulation, and utilities can dispatch a vegetation management team to free the line and prevent an outage or other disruption. Llewellyn King, Forbes, 30 Dec. 2021 McConnell's triangulation here is more clever than either set of critics admits. W. James Antle Iii, The Week, 8 Oct. 2021 For much of the past year, Americans have guided their behavior using a kind of cognitive triangulation. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 20 Dec. 2021 Apple’s guidelines by data triangulation and device fingerprinting. Daniel Barber, Fortune, 11 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'triangulation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of triangulation

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About triangulation

Time Traveler for triangulation

Time Traveler

The first known use of triangulation was in 1818

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near triangulation




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for triangulation

Cite this Entry

“Triangulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on triangulation Encyclopedia article about triangulation


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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