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[trahys] /traɪs/
a very short time; an instant:
in a trice.
Origin of trice1
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English tryse; probably special use of *trise a pull, tug, derivative of trisen, to pull; see trice2


[trahys] /traɪs/
verb (used with object), triced, tricing. Nautical.
to pull or haul with a rope.
to haul up and fasten with a rope (usually followed by up).
1350-1400; Middle English trisen < Middle Dutch trīsen to hoist, derivative of trīse pulley
Related forms
untriced, adjective


variant of -trix.
< French or Italian -trice < Latin -trīcem, accusative of -trīx -trix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trice
Historical Examples
  • In a trice his huge bulk was safely ensconced in the adjoining one.

    Slaves of Mercury Nat Schachner
  • In a trice we had galloped past the fortress, through the village, and had ridden into the gorge.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • She reached the door before he could stop her, and in a trice she was out in the gallery.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • So they mounted their horses and were gone in a trice, galloping to their own camp.

    Anabasis Xenophon
  • In a trice they were ready and the ladies, wrapped in their cloaks, were in the coach.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • In a trice he broke beyond the circle and darted to the control-panel.

    Raiders of the Universes Donald Wandrei
  • And in a trice he was off, as Sally supposed, on his mission.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey
  • In a trice there were found good folks to dig the grave and fashion the coffin.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • Out of her carriage jumped the lady in a trice, and ran into the smithy.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • But now the hounds were too quick, and in a trice they had the cougar surrounded.

British Dictionary definitions for trice


moment; instant (esp in the phrase in a trice)
Word Origin
C15 (in the phrase at or in a trice, in the sense: at one tug): apparent substantive use of trice²


(nautical) (transitive) often foll by up. to haul up or secure
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Dutch trīsen, from trīse pulley
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
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Word Origin and History for trice

late 14c., "haul up and fasten with a rope" (v.), from Middle Dutch trisen "hoist," from trise "pulley," of unknown origin. Hence at a tryse (mid-15c.) "in a very short time," literally "at a single pluck or pull." The Middle Dutch word is the source of Dutch trijsen "to hoist," and cognate with Middle Low German trissen (source of Danish trisse, German triezen); its ultimate origin is unknown.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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