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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 triteness
Historical Examples
  • You don't come it over me with the triteness of these round numbers.

  • The triteness of his moral climax is occasionally startling.

  • triteness is present, but that is to be expected in all amateur fiction.

    Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 Howard Phillips Lovecraft
  • Brouillard laughed and fell headlong into the pit of triteness.

  • The triteness of words 'plus sonores que solides' is the second.

    mile Verhaeren Stefan Zweig
  • And somehow the triteness of the phrase from mother is ridiculously pleasing to me.

    The Fifth Wheel Olive Higgins Prouty
  • He was disgusted with the triteness of this remark, but he could think of nothing else.

    Birthright T.S. Stribling
  • The meagerness and triteness of the music and piece astonished me.

    Records of a Girlhood Frances Ann Kemble
  • He grimaced at the triteness of the words, at the same time realizing that a basic truth lurked there.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
  • Obscurity of expression is merely the cloak in which men seek to hide their poverty of thought and triteness of mind.

    Schopenhauer Margrieta Beer
British Dictionary definitions for triteness


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 triteness



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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