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

Examples of trireme in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ancient civilizations, including Athens, Carthage, Egypt, Macedonia, Rhodes, and Rome, all used the trireme until about 500 A.D.—at least those that lasted that long. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 31 Jan. 2023 For more than 1,000 years, the dominant warship in the Mediterranean Sea was the trireme. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 31 Jan. 2023 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trireme.' 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 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 17 Jun. 2024.

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