[treb-uh l]


threefold; triple.
  1. of or relating to the highest part in harmonized music; soprano.
  2. of the highest pitch or range, as a voice part, voice, singer, or instrument.
  3. high in pitch; shrill.


  1. the treble or soprano part.
  2. a treble voice, singer, or instrument.
a high or shrill voice or sound.
the highest-pitched peal of a bell.

verb (used with or without object), tre·bled, tre·bling.

to make or become three times as much or as many; triple.

Origin of treble

1275–1325; (adj. and noun) Middle English < Middle French < Latin triplus triple; (v.) Middle English treblen, derivative of the adj.
Related formstre·bly [treb-lee] /ˈtrɛb li/, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for treble

Contemporary Examples of treble

Historical Examples of treble

  • Have I, do you think, a desire to double and treble my own fault in the eye of the world?

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • And Miss Nancy with the treble ruffles in her hand now appeared.

  • You might treble that, and say a hundred and fifty, yet not be far from the truth.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Moved by an automatic impulse, the lad placed one finger on a treble key.


    James Huneker

  • She was the leading first treble, a small lady with a sharp, shrill voice.

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin

British Dictionary definitions for treble



threefold; triple
of, relating to, or denoting a soprano voice or part or a high-pitched instrument


three times the amount, size, etc
a soprano voice or part or a high-pitched instrument
the highest register of a musical instrument
  1. the high-frequency response of an audio amplifier, esp in a record player or tape recorder
  2. a control knob on such an instrument by means of which the high-frequency gain can be increased or decreased
bell-ringing the lightest and highest bell in a ring
  1. the narrow inner ring on a dartboard
  2. a hit on this ring


to make or become three times as much
Derived Formstrebleness, nountrebly, adverb, adjective

Word Origin for treble

C14: from Old French, from Latin triplus threefold, triple
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 treble

late 14c., "three times, triple," from Old French treble (12c.), from Latin triplus (see triple).


early 14c., "to multiply by three," from Old French trebler, from treble (see treble (adj.)). Related: Trebled; trebling.


"highest part in music, soprano," mid-14c., from Anglo-French treble, Old French treble (see treble (adj.)). In early contrapuntal music, the chief melody was in the tenor, and the treble was the "third" part above it (after the alto).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper