Count On



"Three" in different languages
French German Russian Welsh Latin Greek
trois drei tri tri tres treis

Words that begin with tri- or ter- are often related to the number 3.

    Three oranges
  • A tricycle is a bicycle (meaning literally "two-wheeled") with 3 wheels.
  • A trio is a (musical) group of 3 people.
  • A triangle has ....?
  • A mother who has just given birth to triplets has 3 babies.
  • A film that is part of a trilogy is one of three.
  • A triennial event happens once every 3 years.
  • A trident is a 3-pronged fork.
  • A triathlon is a competition with 3 events.
  • A tercentenary is the 300th anniversary.
  • Tertiary follows after primary and secondary.

Other words beginning with tri have less obvious meanings:

  • Trivial comes from the latin tri for 3 and via for path or way, meaning three-ways. It was at a crossroads that people would meet and talk about "trivial" things;
  • Trigonometry: the greek for triangle is trigonom and the metry part means to measure. So trigonometry is about measuring triangles (finding the sizes of angles given the lengths of the sides, for example).

Can you...

  • ... find some more words beginning with tri- that are to do with 3?
  • ... find some words that begin with tri- that are not to do with 3? Perhaps this is a trick question but a trip to your dictionary will help. Maybe you've tried hard already but a friend can solve it in a trice?
  • ... find a word beginning with ter- that does not have anything to do with 3?

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