Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Reduce by one third; especially, kill one third of (a group of people).
  • v. To do or perform for the third time.
  • v. To examine, as the thickness of the metal at the muzzle of a gun; or, in general, to examine the thickness of, as ordnance, in order to ascertain its strength.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To do or perform for the third time.
  • transitive v. To examine, as the thickness of the metal at the muzzle of a gun; or, in general, to examine the thickness of, as ordnance, in order to ascertain its strength.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To do for the third time.
  • In gunnery, to examine, as a piece of artillery, or the thickness of its metal, to test its strength. This is usually done with a pair of caliper compasses.

Etymologies

From tertiāt-, the perfect passive participial stem of the Latin verb tertiō, from tertius ("third"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Our old author tells us that the people would 'leap from rock to rock, sometimes making ten Fathoms deep at one Leap, in this manner: First they _tertiate_ their Lances, which are about the bigness of a Half-Pike, and aim with the Point at any piece of a Rock upon which they intend to light, sometimes not half

    To the Gold Coast for Gold A Personal Narrative in Two Volumes.—Volume I

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