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

  • n. The lower division of the seven liberal arts in medieval schools, consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The lower division of the liberal arts; grammar, logic and rhetoric.
  • n. The three anterior ambulacra of echinoderms, collectively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The three “ liberal” arts, grammar, logic, and rhetoric; -- being a triple way, as it were, to eloquence.
  • n. The three anterior ambulacra of echinoderms, collectively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the schools of the middle ages, the first three liberal arts (grammar, rhetoric, and logic)—the other four (namely, arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy) being termed quadrivium.
  • n. In echinoderms, as any sea-urchin, the three anterior ambulaera, taken collectively and distinguished from the two posterior ones taken together. See bivium, and cut under Spatangoida.

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

  • n. (Middle Ages) an introductory curriculum at a medieval university involving grammar and logic and rhetoric; considered to be a triple way to eloquence


Medieval Latin, from Latin, crossroads : tri-, tri- + via, road; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin (Wiktionary)


  • Most important are those places located in the realm of the so-called trivium (i.e., grammar, rhetoric and logic), especially in logic where already the determination of its primary subject as well as the discussion of the basic logical notions

    Medieval Semiotics

  • Not only do his powers as they have been historically manifested form the subject of Renaissance thought, but there is much more persistent concern with the issues and limits of the new sciences and “arts” other than those previously known as the trivium and quadrivium.


  • Classical education uses a teaching method called the trivium, a three-part process of grammar, logic and rhetoric stages.

    The Gazette-Enterprise: News

  • There Alcuin taught the seven sciences of the "trivium" and "quadrivium", i.e. grammar, rhetoric, and logic, arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • Note 2: The seven liberal arts consisted of the mathematical arts (the quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music) and the verbal arts (the trivium: grammar, dialectics, and rhetoric). back

    Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro

  • The trivium these days is creativity, multiculturalism, and self-respect.

    Refutation in verse

  • I've read "Well-Trained Mind," which is about home-schooling kids in the trivium.

    Abridge too far?

  • On this conception, the study of literature belonged to the trivium.

    Literature: the very idea

  • In the medieval trivium, however, grammar did not include the study of morphology and syntax; it was what would now be called prescriptive grammar.

    Literature: the very idea

  • The trivium usedta be teh three main branches of basic lurning: grammur, dialectic, and retoric.

    Meow-mix - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?


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