Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Any instrument of the form of a fork with three prongs; specifically, a three-pronged fish-spear.
  • noun A spear with three prongs, usually barb-pointed, forming a characteristic attribute of Poseidon (Neptune), the sea-god. See also cut under Poseidon.
  • noun Hence, marine sovereignty; rule over the ocean or sea.
  • noun In Roman antiquity, a three-pronged spear used by the retiarius in gladiatorial combats.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having three teeth or prongs; tridentate.
  • noun (Class Myth.) A kind of scepter or spear with three prongs, -- the common attribute of Neptune.
  • noun (Rom. Antiq.) A three-pronged spear or goad, used for urging horses; also, the weapon used by one class of gladiators.
  • noun A three-pronged fish spear.
  • noun (Geom.) A curve of third order, having three infinite branches in one direction and a fourth infinite branch in the opposite direction.
  • noun (Zoöl.) an Asiatic rhinolophid bat (Triænops Persicus), having the nose membrane in the shape of a trident.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun a spear with three prongs

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin tridēns, trident- : tri-, tri- + dēns, tooth; see dent- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin tridēns, from trēs ("three") + dēns ("tooth").

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 11, 2006

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

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

    October 3, 2007

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

    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

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

    October 3, 2007

  • Pepsodent was already taken?

    June 18, 2008

  • 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