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noun, plural tri·os.
  1. a musical composition for three voices or instruments.
  2. a company of three singers or players.
  3. any group of three persons or things.
  4. 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).

Origin of trio

1715–25; < Italian, equivalent to tri- tri- + (du)o two Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for trio


noun plural trios
  1. a group of three people or things
  2. music
    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
  3. 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