tri·​um·​vi·​rate | \ trī-ˈəm-və-rət How to pronounce triumvirate (audio) \

Definition of triumvirate

1 : a body of triumvirs
2 : the office or government of triumvirs
3 : a group or association of three

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The first triumvirate of the Roman Republic, which consisted of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus, was simply an alliance or partnership, not a formal institution of the government. The alliance didn't last long, however, and Caesar eventually emerged with total power. This led to his assassination, after which a second triumvirate took over, with Octavian, Mark Antony, and Lepidus dividing the Roman world among themselves. But these triumvirs also soon turned on one another, with Octavian alone taking power; in time he would become Rome's first emperor.

Examples of triumvirate in a Sentence

among the city's cultural institutions, the art museum, the symphony orchestra, and the opera company reign as the supreme triumvirate
Recent Examples on the Web Chen Moonves is part of CBS's triumvirate of long-running reality hosts, along with Jeff Probst (Survivor), and Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race and now Tough as Nails). Dalton Ross,, 7 July 2021 Dilip Kumar, the last of a triumvirate of actors who ruled Hindi cinema in the 1950s and ’60s, died on Wednesday in Mumbai, India. New York Times, 6 July 2021 However, competition could get intense among that triumvirate of cornerbacks who will compete to start opposite Ward once training camp begins. George M. Thomas, USA TODAY, 16 June 2021 The third of the old dynastic triumvirate also came into this season with something to prove. Patrick Murray, Forbes, 20 June 2021 That band was really the brainchild of this guy named Richard Stekol, who was one third of the songwriting triumvirate of that band. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 16 June 2021 Minerals such as lithium, cobalt, zinc, manganese, copper, nickel, and the rare-earth elements, led by neodymium, are essential to the wind–solar–battery triumvirate with which the Biden administration wants to anchor our energy mix. Jordan Mcgillis, National Review, 31 May 2021 Red Hawk Cartel and Chicks Fayvorite complete the triumvirate for Wells. John Cherwa Special Contributor, Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2021 That triumvirate — especially the former president, whose grip on the party seems as firm as ever — virtually assures victory for Stefanik, 36, a onetime Trump critic who evolved into his strident ally. Alan Fram, Anchorage Daily News, 8 May 2021

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

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First Known Use of triumvirate

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of triumvirate was in 1584

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Triumvirate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of triumvirate

: a group of three people who share a position of authority or power

More from Merriam-Webster on triumvirate

Nglish: Translation of triumvirate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of triumvirate for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about triumvirate


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