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.

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

Synonyms for trite

Synonym study

1. See commonplace.

Antonyms for trite Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tritely

Historical Examples of tritely

  • At every step he had instructed her, not tritely as a Mr. Barlow, but he had been Barlowish, and that was bad.

    Old Mole

    Gilbert Cannan

  • They are more worry than they can possibly be worth, said Nora tritely.

  • The text-books tell us tritely that the goose lives to be a hundred years.

    The New North

    Agnes Deans Cameron

  • "Men know more than they understand, and women understand more than they know," some one has tritely said.

    The Bachelors

    William Dana Orcutt

  • “That same moon lit the world for the builders of the Pyramids,” he said, tritely enough.

    The Shoulders of Atlas

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

British Dictionary definitions for tritely



hackneyed; dulla trite comment
archaic frayed or worn out
Derived Formstritely, 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

Word Origin and History for tritely



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper