tri·um·vi·rate | \ trī-ˈəm-və-rət \

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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Synonyms for triumvirate


threesome, triad, trinity, trio, triple, triplet

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Did You Know?

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

In the hierarchy of the World Cup's elite, Italy forms a power triumvirate with five-time winner Brazil and four-time winner Germany. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "FIFA World Cup 2018: Notable teams that failed to qualify," 11 June 2018 Their presence undercuts a Thai sense of nationhood that is girded by a triumvirate of institutions: the military, the monarchy and the Buddhist monastery. Hannah Beech, The Seattle Times, "For some Thai soccer-team members, cave ordeal was only their latest test," 10 July 2018 An unofficial fashion triumvirate was formed in Paris over the weekend. Noah Johnson, GQ, "Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Alyx Plot the Future of Menswear," 27 June 2018 The Philadelphia 76ers, on the other hand, feel like the most likely Leonard trade destination — and a Leonard-Ben Simmons-Joel Embiid triumvirate would be incredibly difficult to stop. Tim Bontemps,, "Free agency has altered the Western Conference, but not enough to seriously threaten the Warriors," 5 July 2018 The man who authored the majority opinion, over strident dissents from the Thomas-Roberts-Alito triumvirate? Jay Willis, GQ, "The Trump Administration Is Hell-Bent on Ending Affirmative Action," 3 July 2018 Beyond the fact all three players took modest financial haircuts to make their terrific triumvirate work, those Heat teams proved must-see TV. K.c. Johnson,, "Warriors' dominance should be celebrated, not criticized," 3 July 2018 So, season give is definitely about flushing out the different triumvirates, the different alliances and whose loyalty is not to be trusted. Ciara Mcvey, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Power' Star Omari Hardwick: Season 5 Is About "Whose Loyalty Can’t Be Trusted"," 26 June 2018 Other questions that need to be answered: Will one driver emerge from the Dale Coyne Racing triumvirate (Zachary Claman De Melo, Pietro Fittipaldi and Santino Ferrucci) and lay claim to the No. 19 car full time next season? Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar midseason review, part III: What's still to come," 17 June 2018

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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Statistics for triumvirate

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for triumvirate

The first known use of triumvirate was in 1584

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English Language Learners Definition of triumvirate

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

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