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

  • noun An agreement between lovers to meet at a certain time and place.
  • noun A usually private meeting or meeting place that has been agreed on by lovers. synonym: engagement.
  • intransitive verb To keep a tryst.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Same as trust, in various senses.
  • To make an appointment to meet at a given time and place; engage to meet.
  • To agree to meet at any particular time or place.
  • noun Same as trust, in various senses.
  • noun An appointment to meet; an appointed meeting: as, to keep tryst; to break tryst.
  • noun An appointed place of meeting; a rendezvous.
  • noun An appointed meeting for the exchange of commodities; a market: as, Falkirk tryst (a noted horse- and cattle-market held at Falkirk in Scotland).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To trust.
  • transitive verb Scot. To agree with to meet at a certain place; to make an appointment with.
  • intransitive verb Scot. To mutually agree to meet at a certain place.
  • noun obsolete Trust.
  • noun Scot. or Poetic An appointment to meet; also, an appointed place or time of meeting.
  • noun to wait, at the appointed time, for one with whom a tryst or engagement is made; to keep an engagement or appointment.

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

  • noun A prearranged meeting or assignation, now especially between lovers to meet at a specific place and time.
  • noun obsolete A mutual agreement, a covenant.
  • verb intransitive To make a tryst; to agree to meet at a place.
  • verb transitive To arrange or appoint (a meeting time etc.).
  • verb intransitive To keep a tryst, to meet at an agreed place and time.

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

  • noun a secret rendezvous (especially between lovers)
  • noun a date; usually with a member of the opposite sex


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

[Middle English trist, from Old French triste, a waiting place (in hunting); see deru- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English tryst, trist, a variant (due to the Old Norse verb treysta ("to make safe, secure")) of trust, trost, from Old Norse traust ("confidence, trust, security, help, shelter, safe abode"), from Proto-Germanic *traustan (“trust, shelter”), from Proto-Indo-European *deru-, *dreu-, *drū- (“to be firm, be solid”). More at trust.


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  • I love this word. It is so romantic, so free. It evokes suspense, passion - like a secret life of desire. I crave this word.

    December 11, 2006

  • I like that it portrays a simple, whimsical sort of affair.

    December 12, 2006

  • Having a single-syllable word for affair is great, especially for colouring otherwise bland narratives: "The design firm spent a year courting various manufacturers, but only one was interested, and alas, managerial differences doomed their relationship to being nothing more than an unfruitful tryst."

    December 15, 2006

  • I used to think it rhymed with iced.

    July 5, 2007

  • gives thes following pronunciations: trist, trahyst. I can't make heads or tails of the second one. Too many consonants.

    July 5, 2007

  • I think that second one is actually meant to rhyme with iced, as spoken by Zsa Zsa Gabor. Read it just as printed, and the Y should be pronounced as a long I. I think.

    July 5, 2007

  • That's how I've always said it, but I have trouble getting the /h/ in there.

    July 5, 2007

  • But it's supposed to rhyme with wrist right?

    July 6, 2007

  • That's how I've always pronounced it.

    July 6, 2007

  • There's a club in DC by the name of Tryst that everybody always pronouces with a long-i sound. Could it be regional?

    July 6, 2007

  • Could be, jennarenn. Or maybe that club likes to foster an alternate pronunciation?

    July 6, 2007

  • I've always pronounced it to rhyme with "iced." Well, I'm not sure that I've ever pronounced it, out loud, to anyone... it's not really a common word. But I've imagined it to rhyme with "iced," and that's why I'm part of the problem.

    July 6, 2007

  • Every source I can find says that it should rhyme with wrist. It certainly isn't common, but I wouldn't say it is rare. I've used it a number of times, of course, if you post here, you aren't a good judge of someone who uses "common" words.

    July 7, 2007

  • I think it's one of those words that if you've never heard it pronounced you would think it rhymed with iced, but I believe seanahan is right that it should be pronounced to rhyme with wrist. Tricky English!

    July 9, 2007

  • I use this word on a regular basis. It is used in literature, music and TV, so I am a little stunned that people don't know how its pronounced.

    March 21, 2008

  • I'm sure the standard pronunciation is with a short i, rhyming with "wrist" or (more to the point) "cyst". In normal English pronunciation, "y", when used as a vowel, behaves just like "i", which means that when followed by two consonantal phonemes, without a silent "e" at the end to indicate a long vowel, it is pronounced like the "i" in "hit". Also, notice that it doesn't mean an "affair" or a "fling", but only a planned meeting, a date or rendezvous.

    March 22, 2008