Share this entry

Share this page

triad

Line breaks: triad
Pronunciation: /ˈtrʌɪad
 
/

Definition of triad in English:

noun

1A group or set of three related people or things: the triad of medication, diet, and exercise are necessary in diabetes care
More example sentences
  • She is also a psychotherapist in San Francisco who works with couples, triads and other forms of alternative families.
  • She frequently risks the reprimand of her more zealous colleagues by allowing students to talk quietly in pairs or triads while moving through the school.
  • This sequence showed variability in pairs and triads of days without including three H or L consecutive days.
1.1A chord of three musical notes, consisting of a given note with the third and fifth above it.
Example sentences
  • The third of a triad may be emphasized above its root or fifth to create a ‘sweeter’ quality in a dolce passage.
  • The difference is that Beethoven lifts the upper two notes of the triad, leaving the bass to follow belatedly, while Elgar jacks up the bass first, and the upper notes follow.
  • Included are the fundamentals of harmony, such as intervals, triads, chords, modulation and so on.
1.2A Welsh form of literary composition with an arrangement of subjects or statements in groups of three.
Example sentences
  • Saint Teilo is associated in Welsh triads with Saints David and Cadoc as one of the Three Blessed Visitors to the Isle of Britain.
  • Occasionally the reader is treated to a rare triad of Welsh wisdom from the ancient and fragile Grey Book of Glynsabon.
  • The Triads are a peculiar species of poetical composition, of which the Welsh bards have left numerous examples.
2 (also Triad) A secret society originating in China, typically involved in organized crime.
Example sentences
  • The second evil force refers to the triad organizations on mainland China.
  • They're involved in triads, in the Mafia, all these groups.
  • The joint operation had been aimed at a triad gang faction which was thought to be monopolising the illicit fuel trade.
2.1A member of a Triad.
Example sentences
  • Youngsters end up wandering on the streets as they have nowhere to go, making it easy for the triads to recruit young members.
  • There are also other triads who are more concerned with their health and family than criminal matters.

Origin

mid 16th century: from French triade, or via late Latin from Greek trias, triad-, from treis 'three'. Sense 2 is a translation of Chinese San Ho Hui, literally 'three unite society', i.e. 'triple union society', said to mean 'the union of Heaven, Earth, and Man'.

More
  • Triad meaning ‘set of three’ goes back to Greek tres ‘three’. The Chinese secret societies are called Triads from their Chinese name San Ho Hui which can be translated as ‘tripe union society’. Triangle (Late Middle English) comes from the same word. The eternal triangle of romance dates from the early 20th century. Trinitas is the Latin for ‘triad’ and the source of trinity (Middle English). The musical trio (early 18th century) comes from the Italian development of tres. Triple (Middle English) is from the same root; and tripod (early 17th century) is a three-footed device, from tri- ‘three’ podes ‘feet’. Trivet (Late Middle English) comes from the Latin form of the word.

Derivatives

triadic

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈadɪk/
adjective
sense 1.
Example sentences
  • The mainly semitonal movement of the free melodies generates a harmonically ambiguous ‘drift’ that only intermittently crystallises into short-lived triadic formations.
  • One author says that a triadic interaction between these processes is dynamic, not always equal, and requires reflective thought to determine which process is necessary in any given situation.
  • Another way to increase the information attainable from cryotomography would be to label the specimens with electron-dense probes that are specific for triadic components.

Words that rhyme with triad

dryad, dyad, naiad

Definition of triad in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day Noel
Pronunciation: nōˈel
noun
Christmas…