tri·​an·​gu·​la·​tion | \(ˌ)trī-ˌaŋ-gyə-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of triangulation 

: 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

Examples of triangulation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Wireless carriers primarily use GPS chips in phones and cell-tower triangulation to send location data to 911 call centers across the country. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "Apple to Push Fix for Locating 911 Callers," 18 June 2018 Police can often link a person’s location through cell phone triangulation, which refers to positioning a phone’s location to a nearby cell tower at a particular place and time. Michael Mccann,, "Could Kellen Winslow Jr.'s Attorneys Use Football-Induced Brain Injury as Defense for Alleged Crimes?," 16 June 2018 But there’s little reason to think that the Democratic Party, as a whole, would benefit from pursuing that kind of triangulation. Eric Leivtz, Daily Intelligencer, "For Democrats, Immigration Is a Political Problem Without a Policy Solution," 2 July 2018 Through triangulation, the process of determining a location within known points, the Hollingsworths deduced that the treasure was at the Palace of Fine Arts. Bill Van Niekerken, San Francisco Chronicle, "When the Emperor Norton Treasure Hunt turned San Francisco upside down," 8 May 2018 For one, as explained above, cell phone triangulation and surveillance camera evidence might establish Winslow’s location at the time of the crimes. Michael Mccann,, "Could Kellen Winslow Jr.'s Attorneys Use Football-Induced Brain Injury as Defense for Alleged Crimes?," 16 June 2018 Those tariffs, which aimed to counter damage suffered by the Mexican steel industry from cheap Asian imports, were also seen discouraging triangulation of steel through Mexico into the U.S. under Nafta. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Mexico Details Its List of Retaliatory Tariffs Against U.S., Adds Bourbon," 5 June 2018 Three bullet holes in the chest, which father attributed to destiny, and I to the triangulation of past, present, and future. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "‘Choose Marriage or Education’," 29 May 2018 This means their distances can be worked out by triangulation. The Economist, "The two ways to measure how fast the universe is growing do not agree," 17 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of triangulation

1818, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about triangulation

Share triangulation

Statistics for triangulation

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for triangulation

The first known use of triangulation was in 1818

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for triangulation



English Language Learners Definition of triangulation

: a method of finding a distance or location by measuring the distance between two points whose exact location is known and then measuring the angles between each point and a third unknown point

More from Merriam-Webster on triangulation

See words that rhyme with triangulation Encyclopedia article about triangulation

Comments on triangulation

What made you want to look up triangulation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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