trifecta

play
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: 1971



Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a brief usually trivial fact

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ