cleft into three parts or lobes.

1745–55; < Latin trifidus split in three. See tri-, -fid

subtrifid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
trifid (ˈtraɪfɪd)
divided or split into three parts or lobes
[C18: from Latin trifidus from tri- + findere to split]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"divided into three lobes," 1620s, from L. trifidus "cleft in three," from tri- "three" + -fid. This adj. probably inspired triffid, the name of the three-legged walking poisonous plants in John Wyndham's novel "The Day of the Triffids" (1951).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

trifid tri·fid (trī'fĭd')
Divided into three narrow parts or lobes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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