[ trahyt ]
/ traɪt /
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See synonyms for: trite / triteness on Thesaurus.com

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

synonym study for trite

1. See commonplace.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does trite mean?

Trite describes something as being boring or ineffective because it is used so much, as in All politicians seem to make the same trite promises to be honest.

Something that is trite is stale and worn out. It’s most often used to criticize or insult someone’s speech or writing ability.

Example: This lecture kept going in circles and was so trite.

Where does trite come from?

The first records of the term trite come from around 1540. It comes from the Latin trītus, meaning “worn or common.” Trite describes the figurative sense of a word’s usefulness being worn down.

Trite is usually used in reference to words, either written or spoken. However, it can also refer to other things, like a TV show that has had too many episodes. Describing someone’s speech as trite is sometimes a way to insult someone while sounding like helpful criticism and is rarely done with the speaker present—a good clue that it isn’t a nice thing to say.

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What are some other forms related to trite?

  • tritely (adverb)
  • triteness (noun)
  • untrite (adjective)

What are some synonyms for trite?

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

How is trite used in real life?

Trite is usually used as a criticism of something, such as a thought or speech.

Try using trite!

Is trite used correctly in the following sentence?

I fell asleep during the presentation because it was boring and full of trite phrases.

How to use trite in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for trite

/ (traɪt) /

hackneyed; dulla trite comment
archaic frayed or worn out

Derived forms of trite

tritely, adverbtriteness, noun

Word Origin for trite

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