[trih-skel-ee-on, -uh n, trahy-]

noun, plural tris·kel·i·a [trih-skel-ee-uh, trahy-] /trɪˈskɛl i ə, traɪ-/.

a symbolic figure consisting of three legs, arms, or branches radiating from a common center, as the device of Sicily and the Isle of Man.

Also tris·kele [tris-keel, trahy-skeel] /ˈtrɪs kil, ˈtraɪ skil/.

Origin of triskelion

1855–60; < Greek triskel(ḗs) three-legged (tri- tri- + skél(os) leg + -ēs adj. suffix) + -ion diminutive suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for triskele

Historical Examples of triskele

  • I have already (p. 213) referred to the ultimate fate of the triskele.

    Evolution in Art

    Alfred C. Haddon

  • It is clear the was a far older and more widely spread symbol than the triskele, as well as a more purely Aryan one.

    The Swastika

    Thomas Wilson

  • An interesting example of the transformation of a symbol into an emblem is found in the case of the triskele or triquetra.

    Evolution in Art

    Alfred C. Haddon

  • In various places transition occur between the tetraskele and triskele (Fig. 130, I).

    Evolution in Art

    Alfred C. Haddon

  • The triskele and the circles are sometimes found on faces figured on coins.

British Dictionary definitions for triskele


triskele (ˈtrɪskiːl)

noun plural triskelia (trɪˈskɛlɪə) or triskeles

a symbol consisting of three bent limbs or lines radiating from a centre

Word Origin for triskelion

C19: from Greek triskelēs three-legged, from tri- + skelos leg
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 triskele



"figure consisting of three branches radiating from a center," 1880, earlier triskelos (1857), from Greek triskeles "three-legged," from tri- "three" (see tri-) + skelos "leg" (see scalene).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper