tri·​an·​gu·​la·​tion (ˌ)trī-ˌaŋ-gyə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce triangulation (audio)
: 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
: 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 This won’t stop carriers using old school cell tower triangulation. Zak Doffman, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 But – and here’s that people-plants-planet triangulation that’s in TM’s DNA – the standard also guarantees workers are paid fairly and treated with respect. Simon Mainwaring, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 In a triangulation of paranoia, politics and pop music, right-wing influencers warned this week that superstar Swift and her co-conspirators, the NFL, are part of a widespread scheme to tank Donald Trump’s chances of winning back the White House. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan. 2024 When Israeli officials do not provide families with triangulation data from cell phone towers, families have been trying to track down phones themselves, using the find-my-phone features offered by iPhones and Androids. WIRED, 28 Oct. 2023 Trump’s strategy appears to be to promise to remain pro-life if reelected, but to avoid endorsing policies like a national ban in 2024 — and hoping just enough voters don’t notice the cynical triangulation. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 27 Nov. 2023 The Wi-Fi triangulation function is also a rarity in the hacking world, according to Secureworks. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 24 Aug. 2023 Seen at the time as a dark commentary on Clintonian triangulation. The New Republic, 22 June 2023 Numerical methods, like our triangulations, serve as a sanity check for quantum gravity models. Charlie Wood, Quanta Magazine, 25 May 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of triangulation was in 1818

Dictionary Entries Near triangulation

Cite this Entry

“Triangulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tri·​an·​gu·​la·​tion (ˌ)trī-ˌaŋ-gyə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce triangulation (audio)
: the method in surveying of making measurements and using trigonometry to find where places are located on the earth's surface using points whose exact location is known and especially by constructing a network of triangles

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