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tri·​dent ˈtrī-dᵊnt How to pronounce trident (audio)
: a 3-pronged spear serving in classical mythology as the attribute of a sea god (such as Neptune)
: a 3-pronged spear (as for fishing)


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: having three teeth, processes, or points

Did you know?

A trident has three prongs or teeth, as the root dent, "tooth", tells us. The trident has long been used to spear fish in different parts of the world, so there's no mystery about why the Greek sea god Poseidon and his Roman counterpart Neptune both carry a trident as their symbol. In some gladiator exhibitions in ancient Rome, one gladiator, called a retiarius ("net man"), would be equipped as though he were a fisherman, with a weighted net and a trident; with his net he would snare his sword-wielding opponent, and with his trident he would spear his helpless foe.

Examples of trident in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The cabin also features dark briar wood trim and door panels and headrests embroidered with a design that combines the Maserati trident with the sun from the Tignanello bottle label. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 1 July 2024 On Monday, police described the victim as a man of East Indian descent between 30 and 34 years old, standing 6 feet tall and weighing about 140 pounds, with straight black hair and a tattoo of a trident on his right arm. Robert Salonga, The Mercury News, 24 June 2024
Overview More than just a modern mid-engine supercar, the 2024 Maserati MC20 represents a return to the trident brand’s core ethos. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, 6 Sep. 2023 Species available through the program this fall include trident maple, river birch, sweetgum, willow oak, and dawn redwood. Brittany Bowker,, 23 Aug. 2023 See all Example Sentences for trident 

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

Word History



Latin trident-, tridens, from trident-, tridens having three teeth, from tri- + dent-, dens tooth — more at tooth


Latin trident-, tridens

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1589, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trident was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near trident

Cite this Entry

“Trident.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a spear with three prongs
trident adjective


from Latin trident-, tridens "trident," from tridens (adjective) "having three teeth," from tri- "three" and dens "tooth" — related to dental

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