tri-, tre-

(Greek > Latin: a numerical prefix meaning, three, thrice, threefold; triple; a word element for number 3)

Denoting a chemical compound containing three replaceable hydrogen atoms.
A grossly malformed fetus with three heads, joined at the occiput, and a single body.
A three-pronged forceps for removal of foreign bodies from the bladder.
trilarcenous (adjective) (not comparable)
A triple conviction of robbery or stealing: Claude had to serve prison time for the three robberies that he had committed, which is known as a trilarcenous sentence by a court of law.
1. A three-sided figure; a triangle.
2. Having or involving three sides, countries, or parties.
The practice of engaging in three-party relations, agreements, or negotiations.
trilemma (s) (noun), trilemmas (pl)
A circumstance in which a choice has to be made among three possible courses of action; especially, when the options are equally unpleasant and not wanted.

World economies are in a trilemma, not just a dilemma

As the world economy struggles to recover from its various ailments, the international financial order is coming under increased scrutiny.

Currencies and exchange rates, in particular, are getting a hard look.

In thinking about these issues, the place to start is with what economists call the fundamental trilemma of international finance.

Trilemma describes a situation in which someone faces a choice among three options, each with some inevitable problems.

What is the trilemma in international finance?

The trilemma stems from the fact that in most nations, economic policy makers would like to achieve these three goals:

  • Make the country's economy open to international flows of capital.
  • Use monetary policy as a tool to help stabilize the economy.
  • Maintain stability in the currency exchange rate.

Without doubt, the financial system presents policy makers with difficult tradeoffs. Americans should not be too harsh when other nations facing the trilemma reach conclusions different from their own.

In this area of economic policy, as well as many others, there is room for reasonable nations to disagree.

—Excerpts were compiled from
"Confronting the financial trilemma of global finance"
by N. Gregory Mankiw; as seen in the International Herald Tribune
from "The Global Edition of the New York Times" Business:
July 10-11, 2010; pages 13 & 17.
Speaking or using, written or expressed in, or relating to three languages.
trilith, trilithon
A massive prehistoric stone structure, resembling a doorway, consisting of two vertical stones with a third supported horizontally by the other two.
1. The cardinal number equal to 1012.
2. Primarily British, the cardinal number equal to 1018.
trilobate, trilobed
Having three lobes.
Having three cavities or cells.
A group of three words or sayings.
1. In Greek antiquity, a series of three tragedies (originally connected in subject), performed at Athens at the festival of Dionysus.
2. Any series or group of three related dramatic or other literary works.
3. A group of three related utterances, sayings, subjects, etc.
trimachia (s) (noun), trimachias (pl)
A series of three battles or a contest between three.

Cross references of word families that are related, partially or totally, to: "three, third": terce-; terti-; trigono-; trito-.