Definitions

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

  • n. A long, three-pronged fork or weapon, especially a three-pronged spear used for fishing.
  • n. Greek & Roman Mythology The three-pronged spear carried by Neptune or Poseidon.
  • adj. Having three teeth, prongs, or similar protrusions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A three-pronged spear somewhat resembling a pitchfork.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of scepter or spear with three prongs, -- the common attribute of Neptune.
  • n. A three-pronged spear or goad, used for urging horses; also, the weapon used by one class of gladiators.
  • n. A three-pronged fish spear.
  • n. A curve of third order, having three infinite branches in one direction and a fourth infinite branch in the opposite direction.
  • adj. Having three teeth or prongs; tridentate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any instrument of the form of a fork with three prongs; specifically, a three-pronged fish-spear.
  • n. A spear with three prongs, usually barb-pointed, forming a characteristic attribute of Poseidon (Neptune), the sea-god. See also cut under Poseidon.
  • n. Hence, marine sovereignty; rule over the ocean or sea.
  • n. In Roman antiquity, a three-pronged spear used by the retiarius in gladiatorial combats.
  • n. In geometry, a crunodal plane cubic curve having the line at infinity for one of the tangents at the node, It was discovered and named by Descartes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a spear with three prongs

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin tridēns, trident- : tri-, tri- + dēns, tooth.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tridēns, from trēs ("three") + dēns ("tooth"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My trident is a symbol of honor and heritage, bestowed upon me by the heroes who have gone before.

    CNN Transcript Nov 12, 2006

  • The trident was the symbol of the emperor's might, but now he used it as a simple weapon, laying the tines against the seal's neck.

    Odyssey

  • He wore a rough cloak, and on his head a broad hat to shade his face, and in his hand he carried a trident, which is a three-pronged fork for spearing fish, and over his shoulder was a casting net.

    Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12)

  • We saw above that the trident was a veiled image of the cross.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 4: Clandestinity-Diocesan Chancery

  • But the sort of heroic vestibule that you go through, of glass principally has, as its centerpiece, two of the monumental, the so-called trident columns.

    NPR Topics: News

  • The trident is a great weapon if you're dressed properly -- wearing nothing at all except Saran Wrap and AstroGlide.

    Ace of Spades HQ

  • (wqVgz) 17 > > > Also, a trident is a good weapon.

    Ace of Spades HQ

  • The money for the 4p cut in the basic rate of tax would come from the costed green tax switch and any further cuts would be funded by scrapping wasteful projects such as trident and closing loopholes used by the super rich

    Why the Tories should worry about borrowing

  • In the first case it is described as a kind of trident with a hook attached to it, for the purpose of grappling the rigging of an opponent's vessel; in the second, it is looked upon as a common hay-fork.

    The Sea-Kings of Crete

  • The ’81 Mariners used that upside-down pitchfork logo that they preferred to call a trident.

    WHY is the FOUL POLE FAIR?

Comments

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  • Again, a "cultural usage" section would be cool. So I could say "trident" is also a brand name of a chewing gum, which is funny because you'd hope that after chewing gum you'd have more than "three teeth".

    August 3, 2009

  • Pepsodent was already taken?

    June 18, 2008

  • You're right, come to think of it. What were they thinking?

    October 3, 2007

  • You do have to wonder what the company was thinking, naming their gum "three teeth." Like they're trying to imply what your mouth will look like if you chew enough of it...

    October 3, 2007

  • And here I thought it was the preferred chewing gum of four out of five dentists.

    October 3, 2007

  • Literally "three teeth." Good for fights with rival reporters.

    October 3, 2007