Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A system of betting in which the bettor must pick the first three winners in the correct sequence. Also called triple.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bet in which the bettor must select the first three placegetters of a race in the order in which they finish.
  • n. The attainment of three important achievements, qualities, etc.
  • n. A set of three related things, often things that cause problems.

Etymologies

tri- + (per)fecta.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From tri- +‎ (per)fecta. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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