- consisting of or involving three; threefold; triple.
- third in order or rank.
- based on the number three.
- consisting of three different elements or groups.
- (formerly) consisting of three atoms.
- Mathematics. having three variables.
- Metallurgy. (of an alloy) having three principal constituents.
- a group of three.
Origin of ternary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ternary
Ternary, and quaternary, consist of three and four elements.Elements of Chemistry,
But opinion is the ternary; for that rationally follows from comprehension.Essays and Miscellanies
At the last-mentioned point, the ternary salt with 8H2O is formed.The Phase Rule and Its Applications
When two combinations are observed, they must be presumed to be a binary and a ternary.Heroes of Science
M. M. Pattison Muir
Note the ternary movement of this song, and see Versification, p. lxxiii.Modern Spanish Lyrics
- consisting of three or groups of three
- (of a number system) to the base three
- involving or containing three variables
- (of an alloy, mixture, or chemical compound) having three different components or composed of three different elements
- a group of three
C14: from Latin ternārius, from ternī three each
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for ternary
early 15c., from Late Latin ternarius "consisting of three," from terni "three by three," from ter "thrice," which is related to tres "three" (see three).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Composed of three or arranged in threes, as a chemical compound containing three elements.
- A group of three.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.