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Origin of triple

1325–75; Middle English (noun and v.) <Latin triplus (adj.), equivalent to tri-tri- + (du)plusduple
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a basic definition of triple?

Triple describes something as being made of three parts or being three times as great. Triple also means a set of three. The word triple has several other senses as an adjective, noun, and verb. In any sense, the word triple always has to do with the number three.

Triple often describes something that is made of three parts or contains three of something.

  • Real-life examples: A triple-layer cake has three layers. A triple homicide involves the murder of three people. A triple-decker bus has three decks of seats. A cardplayer who has triple aces has three cards with aces on them.
  • Used in a sentence: My famous triple-layer cake has two layers of chocolate cake and one layer of vanilla cake. 

Triple also often describes something that is three times as great as something else. For example, a couch that is triple the price of another couch costs three times as much.

  • Used in a sentence: I sold my bike for $300, which is triple the $100 I paid for it.  

In this sense, triple is used as a verb to mean to multiply something by three. For example, if you triple 2, you get 6 because 2 x 3 = 6.

  • Used in a sentence: I think I will triple the tablespoons of sugar in the next batch of lemonade from 2 tablespoons to 6. 

Triple is also a noun that means a set of three. The word triplet is also commonly used in this sense.

  • Used in a sentence: The shirts were packaged together in triples of red, white, and blue.

Where does triple come from?

The first records of triple come from around 1325. It ultimately comes from the Latin triplus.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to triple?

What are some synonyms for triple?

What are some words that share a root or word element with triple

What are some words that often get used in discussing triple?

How is triple used in real life?

Triple is a very common word that describes something as being made of three things or being three times as great in number.



Try using triple!​

True or False?

When you triple something, you multiply it by 3.

How to use triple in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for triple

/ (ˈtrɪpəl) /

consisting of three parts; threefold
(of musical time or rhythm) having three beats in each bar
three times as great or as much
a threefold amount
a group of three
to increase or become increased threefold; treble

Derived forms of triple

triply, adverb

Word Origin for triple

C16: from Latin triplus
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