trifecta

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noun tri·fec·ta \trī-ˈfek-tə, ˈtrī-ˌ\

Definition of trifecta

  1. 1 :  a variation of the perfecta in which a bettor wins by selecting the first three finishers of a race in the correct order of finish

  2. 2 :  triple 1b <achieved a show-business trifecta :  a platinum record, hit TV series, and an Oscar>

Examples of trifecta in a sentence

  1. <that summertime trifecta for meteorologically induced misery: hazy, hot, and humid>

Where Does trifecta Come from?

Trifecta is a recent addition to the English language. It first appeared in the early 1970s as a term for a horse-racing bet in which the first, second, and third place finishers are chosen in the correct order.

The word has since broadened in meaning: it can now also refer to a group of three (usually desirable) things (such as “the trifecta of curing cancer, ending hunger, and putting an end to war"). It is found in everything from advertisements to media company names to casual speech.

Trifecta combines the prefix tri- (meaning “three”) with the last element in perfecta, a word of American Spanish origin that refers to a horse-racing bet in which the first- and second-place finishers are chosen correctly.

Origin and Etymology of trifecta

tri- + perfecta


First Known Use: 1974


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