Definition of ternary in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtərnərē/


1Composed of three parts.
Example sentences
  • Although the model ternary compositions we study are too simple to completely represent a biological membrane, we often find irascibility transitions close to physiological temperatures.
  • These ternary plots suggest that the three suspect samples (plotted red, yellow and green) are in fact from the same source, and unique, when compared with many samples from other sources (plotted blue)
  • However, phase diagrams of binary or ternary mixtures are much simpler and often provide information that permits their use as simple models for understanding the behavior of much more complex mixtures.
1.1 Mathematics Using three as a base.
Example sentences
  • In 1950, Claude E. Shannon published an account of symmetrical signed-digit systems, including ternary and other bases.
  • Here I want to offer three cheers for base 3, the ternary system.
  • Along with ternary arithmetic, a computer built of base - 3 hardware can also exploit ternary logic.


Late Middle English: from Latin ternarius, from terni 'three at once'.

Words that rhyme with ternary

fernery, quaternary

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ter·na·ry

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words