Definition of tertium quid in English:

tertium quid

Line breaks: ter|tium quid
Pronunciation: /ˌtəːʃɪəm ˈkwɪd
, ˌtəːtɪəm


  • A third thing that is indefinite and undefined but is related to two definite or known things.
    More example sentences
    • Unfortunately, given the interminability of the debate, only a few voices in the book seek to find a tertium quid - that is, a wider outlook that could lift the debate off its current hinges and onto a more illuminative level.
    • Unable to fully reconcile the cases, Justice Scalia said that the trade dress in Two Pesos was either some form of packaging, or tertium quid.


early 18th century: from late Latin, translation of Greek triton ti 'some third thing'.

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