Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sentence with three clearly defined parts of equal length, usually independent clauses.
  • n. The symbol ⁝, a colon with three dots instead of two.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ancient prosody and rhetoric, a period consisting of three cola.

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek τρικωλος (trikolos, "having three parts") (Wiktionary)
tri- +‎ colon (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "will [ing] nothing — want [ing] [nothing], and do [ing] nothing" (the sneer in the tricolon is almost audible).

    Hegel on Buddhism

  • In an age when parliamentary oratory is assumed be dead or moribund at best, it is a pleasure to record that this was one of the most hotly contested awards with lively debate on the merits of all sorts of rhetorical devices from the Ciceronian tricolon to the good old cheap shot.

    Matthew d'Ancona's Parliamentarian awards speech

  • The emotional height of the tricolon, where Ovid describes poetic inspiration, gives way to a comparatively prosaic distich where he explains that the conditions necessary for inspiration do not exist at

    The Last Poems of Ovid

  • = The use of the third person adds to the emotive power of the tricolon 'ager ... hirundo ...

    The Last Poems of Ovid

  • "zone_info": "huffpost. politics/blog; politics = 1; nickname = jerry-weissman; entry_id = 161354; alliteration = 1; anaphora = 1; barack-obama = 1; fred-astaire = 1; ginger-rogers = 1; inaugural-addresss = 1; michiko-kakutani = 1; quotations = 1; swing-time = 1; tricolon = 1",

    Jerry Weissman: Obama, Aristotle, and Fred Astaire

  • = 9-10 = form a tricolon, where each phrase represents the same action in progressively more specific terms: (1) 'dissimulas etiam' (2) 'nec me uis nosse uideri' (3) 'quisque sit audito nomine Naso rogas'.

    The Last Poems of Ovid

  • HPConfig. blog_id = 0; var ads_page_type = 'bpage'; var zone_info = "huffpost. politics/blog; politics = 1; nickname = jerry-weissman; entry_id = 161354; alliteration = 1; anaphora = 1; barack-obama = 1; fred-astaire = 1; ginger-rogers = 1; inaugural-addresss = 1; michiko-kakutani = 1; quotations = 1; swing-time = 1; tricolon = 1"; if (top!

    Jerry Weissman: Obama, Aristotle, and Fred Astaire

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