[ trif-thawng, -thong, trip- ]
/ ˈtrɪf θɔŋ, -θɒŋ, ˈtrɪp- /


Phonetics. a monosyllabic speech-sound sequence perceived as being made up of three differing vowel qualities, as the pronunciation of our, especially in r-dropping dialects.
(not in technical use) a trigraph.

Origin of triphthong

1590–1600; < New Latin triphthongus < Medieval Greek tríphthongos with three vowels, equivalent to tri- tri- + phthóngos voice, sound

Related forms

triph·thong·al [trif-thawng-guh l, -thong-, trip-] /trɪfˈθɔŋ gəl, -ˈθɒŋ-, trɪp-/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for triphthong

British Dictionary definitions for triphthong


/ (ˈtrɪfθɒŋ, ˈtrɪp-) /


a composite vowel sound during the articulation of which the vocal organs move from one position through a second, ending in a third
a trigraph representing a composite vowel sound such as this

Derived Forms

triphthongal, adjective

Word Origin for triphthong

C16: via New Latin from Medieval Greek triphthongos, from tri- + phthongos sound; compare diphthong
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