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adjective, trit·er, trit·est.
  1. lacking in freshness or effectiveness because of constant use or excessive repetition; hackneyed; stale: the trite phrases in his letter.
  2. characterized by hackneyed expressions, ideas, etc.: The commencement address was trite and endlessly long.
  3. Archaic. rubbed or worn by use.
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Origin of trite

1540–50; < Latin trītus worn, common, equivalent to trī- (variant stem of terere to rub, wear down) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formstrite·ly, adverbtrite·ness, nounun·trite, adjectiveun·trite·ly, adverbun·trite·ness, noun


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Synonym study

1. See commonplace.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for trite


  1. hackneyed; dulla trite comment
  2. archaic frayed or worn out
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Derived Formstritely, adverbtriteness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin trītus worn down, from terere to rub
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 trite


1540s, from Latin tritus "worn, familiar," from past participle of terere "to rub, wear down" (see throw (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper