Definition of triangulate in English:

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Pronunciation: /trīˈaNGɡyəˌlāt/


1 [with object] Divide (an area) into triangles for surveying purposes.
Example sentences
  • The two aspects that fascinated me most: The simple acts of triangulating and measuring the world in order to capture it on paper, from objects to geometry to images.
  • If we watch the area behind the sweep-line, we can see that it has already been triangulated.
1.1Measure and map (an area) by the use of triangles with a known base length and base angles.
Example sentences
  • In the following year they surveyed the perpendicular to the meridian east of Paris, triangulating the area between Paris and Strasbourg.
1.2Determine (a height, distance, or location) by the use of triangles.
Example sentences
  • Through extremes of weather and disease, these scientists dutifully triangulate distances and gather botanical specimens throughout the Peruvian wilderness.
  • Radio buoys at the positions and distances indicated by letters, continuously triangulated positions as the animal moved steadily away from the array, never to return.
  • We initially located nests by flushing the hen, but after 31 May 1994 we located nests by triangulating the location of the nest and returning to search for it after she had completed her egg-laying visit.
2 [with object] Form into a triangle or triangles: the brackets triangulate the frame
More example sentences
  • But there does lurk a slightly retro touch under the skin: between the main structure and the cones is a pair of triangulated aluminium frames which holds the engine and front suspension.
  • The triangulated space frame of the roof is made up of solid stainless steel rods that form six pointed stars screwed into nodal connectors.
  • I and others showed that any polygon could be triangulated with non-obtuse triangles.
3 [no object] chiefly US (In politics) position oneself in such a way as to appeal to or appease both left-wing and right-wing standpoints: will the president decide to triangulate?
More example sentences
  • People are sick of the say little, no fight back, triangulating party.
  • The strategy for Democrats in the Red Zone is to triangulate, not imitate.
  • His left-right one-two punch seems to leave the President in the triangulated middle of his debate with himself.


Mid 19th century: from Latin triangulum 'triangle' (see triangle) + -ate3.

Words that rhyme with triangulate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tri·an·gu·late

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