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  1. one of three children or offspring born at the same birth.
  2. triplets, three offspring born at one birth.
  3. any group or combination of three.
  4. Prosody. three successive verses or lines, especially when rhyming and of the same length; a stanza of three lines.
  5. Also called tercet. Music. a group of three notes to be performed in the time of two ordinary notes of the same kind.
  6. an assembled imitation gem with three parts, the center one giving the color, the top and bottom, sometimes genuine, supplying the wearing qualities.
  7. Genetics. a sequence of three nucleotides; a codon in messenger RNA and an anticodon in transfer RNA.
  8. Optics. a compound lens in which three lenses are combined.
  9. triplets, (in some card games) three cards of the same denomination.

Origin of triplet

First recorded in 1650–60; triple + -et Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for triplet

Contemporary Examples of triplet

Historical Examples of triplet

British Dictionary definitions for triplet


  1. a group or set of three similar things
  2. one of three offspring born at one birth
  3. music a group of three notes played in a time value of two, four, etc
  4. chem a state of a molecule or free radical in which there are two unpaired electrons

Word Origin for triplet

C17: from triple, on the model of doublet
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 triplet

1650s, "three successive lines of poetry," from triple; perhaps patterned on doublet. Extended to a set of three of anything in 1733, and to three children at the same birth in 1787 (another word for this was trin, 1831, on the model of twin). Musical meaning "three notes played in the time of two" is from 1801.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

triplet in Medicine


  1. Any of three children delivered at the same birth.
  2. A set of three similar objects, such as a compound lens in a microscope formed of three planoconvex lenses.
  3. A unit of three successive nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule that codes for a specific amino acid; a codon or anticodon.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.