[ tree-oh ]
/ ˈtri oʊ /

noun, plural tri·os.

a musical composition for three voices or instruments.
a company of three singers or players.
any group of three persons or things.
a subordinate division of a minuet, scherzo, march, etc., usually in a contrasted key and style (perhaps originally written for three instruments or in three parts).

Nearby words

  1. trinketry,
  2. trinocular,
  3. trinodal,
  4. trinomial,
  5. trinucleotide,
  6. trio sonata,
  7. triode,
  8. trioecious,
  9. trioeciously,
  10. triol

Origin of trio

1715–25; < Italian, equivalent to tri- tri- + (du)o two Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trio

British Dictionary definitions for trio


/ (ˈtriːəʊ) /

noun plural trios

a group of three people or things
  1. a group of three singers or instrumentalists or a piece of music composed for such a group
  2. a subordinate section in a scherzo, minuet, etc, that is contrastive in style and often in a related key
piquet three cards of the same rank

Word Origin for trio

C18: from Italian, ultimately from Latin trēs three; compare duo

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 trio



1724, from French trio (c.1600), from Italian trio, from tri- "three" (see three); patterned on duo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper