noun (1)
tri·​ton | \ ˈtrī-tᵊn How to pronounce triton (audio) \

Definition of triton

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 capitalized : a son of Poseidon described as a demigod of the sea with the lower part of his body like that of a fish
2 [New Latin, genus name, from Latin Triton] : any of various large marine gastropod mollusks (family Ranellidae synonym Cymatiidae) with a heavy elongated conical shell also : the shell


noun (2)
tri·​ton | \ ˈtrī-ˌtän How to pronounce triton (audio) \

Definition of triton (Entry 2 of 2)

: the nucleus of tritium

Illustration of triton

Illustration of triton

Noun (1)

triton 2

In the meaning defined above

Triton and Mermaids

Triton was originally the son of the sea god Poseidon (or Neptune). A guardian of the fish and other creatures of the sea, he is usually shown as hearty, muscular, and cheerful. Like his father, he often carries a trident (three-pronged fork) and may ride in a chariot drawn by seahorses. Blowing on his conch shell, he creates the roar of the ocean. As a decorative image, Tritons are simply the male version of mermaids. The handsome seashells that bear their name are the very conchs on which they blow. Triton has also given his name to the planet Neptune's largest moon.

First Known Use of triton

Noun (1)

1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1934, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for triton

Noun (1)

Latin, from Greek Tritōn

Noun (2)

tritium + -on entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about triton

Time Traveler for triton

Time Traveler

The first known use of triton was in 1536

See more words from the same year

Statistics for triton

Cite this Entry

“Triton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on triton

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with triton Encyclopedia article about triton

Comments on triton

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!