a three-pronged instrument or weapon.
Roman History. a three-pronged spear used by a retiarius in gladiatorial combats.
Classical Mythology. the three-pronged spear forming a characteristic attribute of the sea god Poseidon, or Neptune.
a fish spear having three prongs.
(initial capital letter) Military. a 34-foot (10-meter) submarine-launched U.S. ballistic missile with eight to ten warheads and a range of 6500 miles (10,459 km).


Also tri·den·tal [trahy-den-tl] /traɪˈdɛn tl/. having three prongs or tines.

Origin of trident

1580–90; < Latin trident- (stem of tridēns) having three teeth. See tri-, dent2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for trident

blade, skewer, bayonet, dart, harpoon, lance, spire, javelin, bolt, spike, bore

Examples from the Web for trident

Contemporary Examples of trident

Historical Examples of trident

British Dictionary definitions for trident



a three-pronged spear, originally from the East
(in Greek and Roman mythology) the three-pronged spear that the sea god Poseidon (Neptune) is represented as carrying
a three-pronged instrument, weapon, or symbol


having three prongs

Word Origin for trident

C16: from Latin tridēns three-pronged, from tri- + dēns tooth



a type of US submarine-launched ballistic missile with independently targetable warheads
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 trident

mid-15c., from Latin tridentem (nominative tridens; genitive tridentis) "three-pronged, three-toothed," from tri- "three" (see tri-) + dens (genitive dentis) "tooth" (see tooth). As a type of U.S. nuclear-powered submarine, recorded from 1972.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper