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[trahyt] /traɪt/
adjective, triter, tritest.
lacking in freshness or effectiveness because of constant use or excessive repetition; hackneyed; stale:
the trite phrases in his letter.
characterized by hackneyed expressions, ideas, etc.:
The commencement address was trite and endlessly long.
Archaic. rubbed or worn by use.
Origin of trite
1540-50; < Latin trītus worn, common, equivalent to trī- (variant stem of terere to rub, wear down) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
tritely, adverb
triteness, noun
untrite, adjective
untritely, adverb
untriteness, noun
1. ordinary.
1. original.
Synonym Study
1. See commonplace. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tritely
Historical Examples
  • At every step he had instructed her, not tritely as a Mr. Barlow, but he had been Barlowish, and that was bad.

    Old Mole Gilbert Cannan
  • They are more worry than they can possibly be worth, said Nora tritely.

  • The text-books tell us tritely that the goose lives to be a hundred years.

    The New North Agnes Deans Cameron
  • "Men know more than they understand, and women understand more than they know," some one has tritely said.

    The Bachelors William Dana Orcutt
  • “That same moon lit the world for the builders of the Pyramids,” he said, tritely enough.

    The Shoulders of Atlas Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Coldly, tritely, he sets down the bald, bare facts of the tragedies that wrecked the Hyndses.

    A Woman Named Smith

    Marie Conway Oemler
  • One hopes the land may breed like qualities in her human offspring, not tritely to "try," but to do.

  • "It is said tritely but truly, that great minds travel the same roads," Ernest observed, inwardly pleased.

    The House of the Vampire

    George Sylvester Viereck
  • "Beauty is a fickle goddess," remarked Ducwitz tritely, settling himself firmly in the saddle.

    The Goose Girl

    Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for tritely


hackneyed; dull: a trite comment
(archaic) frayed or worn out
Derived Forms
tritely, adverb
triteness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin trītus worn down, from terere to rub
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 tritely



1540s, from Latin tritus "worn, familiar," from past participle of terere "to rub, wear down" (see throw (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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