noun Classical History.

a galley with three rows or tiers of oars on each side, one above another, used chiefly as a warship.

Origin of trireme

1595–1605; < Latin trirēmis having three banks of oars, equivalent to tri- tri- + rēm(us) oar + -is adj. suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trireme

Contemporary Examples of trireme

Historical Examples of trireme

  • And in the meantime a trireme was despatched in all haste to carry their petition to Sparta.

  • After the early meal, the galley of Eumedes approached his father's trireme.

  • The arrival of this trireme was thus of very essential service to the Greeks.


    Jacob Abbott

  • Fortunately, the rowers of the first trireme had no spirit for their work.

  • Before my trireme weighs anchor, I have a communication to make to you.

British Dictionary definitions for trireme



a galley, developed by the ancient Greeks as a warship, with three banks of oars on each side

Word Origin for trireme

C17: from Latin trirēmis, from tri- + rēmus oar
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 trireme

c.1600, "ancient ship with three rows of oars," from Latin triremis, from tri- "three" (see tri-) + remus "oar" (see row (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper