tri·​reme ˈtrī-ˌrēm How to pronounce trireme (audio)
: an ancient galley having three banks of oars

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The resulting coins were spent buying Macedonian pine to make oars to power the triremes, the most advanced naval fighting ships the world had yet seen. Mark Munn, The Conversation, 17 Apr. 2020 The victory was costly: Athens lost 25 out of their 150 triremes, each with a crew of 200 men. Mark Munn, The Conversation, 17 Apr. 2020 In a little more than a month, the Athenians had assembled a fleet of triremes powerful enough to challenge the Spartan fleet and regain control of the sea. Mark Munn, The Conversation, 17 Apr. 2020 Even poor Athenian citizens could serve on a trireme. Steele Brand, Time, 20 Sep. 2019 Corinthians developed and perfected the speedy and powerful trireme warship, which saw battle during the historic Battle of Salamis in 480 B.C, among other battles. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 27 Aug. 2019 The second book compasses the long history of water-going vessels, from Mesopotamian rafts, Greek triremes and Viking longships to the ages of sail and steam and beyond. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 12 July 2018 New technologies of destruction have appeared throughout history, from the trireme and gunpowder in past centuries to biological and nuclear weapons in more modern times. Paul R. Pillar, New York Times, 19 June 2018 Greek triremes sank his ships at Salamis, and Xerxes fled back across the Hellespont, abandoning his army to destruction. John Nagl, WSJ, 16 Apr. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trireme.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin triremis, from tri- + remus oar — more at row

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trireme was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near trireme

Cite this Entry

“Trireme.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

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