ménage à trois

noun (1)
mé·​nage à trois | \ mā-ˈnäzh-ä-ˈt(r)wä How to pronounce ménage à trois (audio) , mə-\

Definition of ménage à trois

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : an arrangement in which three people (such as a married couple and a lover of one member of the couple) have a sexual or romantic relationship especially while they are living together
2 : a sexual encounter involving three people : threesome

pas de trois

noun (2)
\ ˌpä-də-ˈtrwä How to pronounce pas de trois (audio) , -ˈtwä How to pronounce pas de trois (audio) \
plural pas de trois\ ˌpä-​də-​ˈtrwä(z) How to pronounce pas de trois (audio) , -​ˈtwä(z) \

Definition of pas de trois (Entry 2 of 4)

: a dance or figure for three performers


geographical name
Trois-Ri·​vières | \ ˌt(r)wä-ri-ˈvyer How to pronounce Trois-Rivières (audio) \

Definition of Trois-Rivières (Entry 3 of 4)

city in southern Quebec, Canada, northeast of Montreal on the northern bank of the Saint Lawrence River population 131,338

Note: Trois-Rivières includes the former town of Trois-Ri*vières-Ouest \ ˌt(r)wä-​ri-​ˌvyer-​ˈwest How to pronounce ˌt(r)wä-ri-ˌvyer-ˈwest (audio)\ .

à trois

\ ä‧ˈtrwä, F ȧtrwȧ\

Definition of à trois (Entry 4 of 4)

: designed for or shared among three individuals usually used postpositively a pleasant little dinner à troisa discussion à trois

Examples of ménage à trois in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Brian and Matt are involved in a menage a trois with a personal trainer named (wait for it) Steve. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "What’s in a name? With ‘Steve,’ it’s heart and wit," 16 Mar. 2018 Fergus makes like an expert wingman and hooks Ian and Brighid up but first Fergus discloses that his first time was a menage a trois. Roxane Gay, Glamour, "'Outlander' Season 3, Episode 7 Recap: A Fight, a Fire, and a Bombshell Revelation About Jamie," 29 Oct. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As Benno, Tigran Sargsyan brought his big, easy jumps to the Act 1 pas de trois, though the partnering wasn't yet effortless. Lewis Segal, latimes.com, "Los Angeles Ballet dips its toes into a cold, calm 'Swan Lake'," 4 Mar. 2018 The screens proved a magnet for the dancers, particularly in a wonderful pas de trois for a couple and a screen. Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Ballet sticks the landing on creative 'MXE' program," 9 Feb. 2018 The careful attention to musicality of all three dancers coupled with the bright red pointe shoes of the two women and the fuchsia accents on Ito’s red tunic made this pas de trois a visual delight. Sean Erwin, miamiherald, "Miami City Ballet’s new production, a ‘Nutcracker’ 2.0," 18 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ménage à trois.' 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 ménage à trois

Noun (1)

1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1762, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ménage à trois

Noun (1)

French, literally, household for three

Noun (2)

French, literally, step for three



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Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for ménage à trois

The first known use of ménage à trois was circa 1762

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ménage à trois


English Language Learners Definition of ménage à trois

: an arrangement in which three people have sex with each other especially while living together

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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