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ternary

[tur-nuh-ree] /ˈtɜr nə ri/
adjective
1.
consisting of or involving three; threefold; triple.
2.
third in order or rank.
3.
based on the number three.
4.
Chemistry.
  1. consisting of three different elements or groups.
  2. (formerly) consisting of three atoms.
5.
Mathematics. having three variables.
6.
Metallurgy. (of an alloy) having three principal constituents.
noun, plural ternaries.
7.
a group of three.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin ternārius made up of three. See tern2, -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ternary
  • Binary logic has always been more economical to make and can easily be configured to emulate a ternary system.
  • Definition of ternary search tree, possibly with links to more information and implementations.
British Dictionary definitions for ternary

ternary

/ˈtɜːnərɪ/
adjective
1.
consisting of three or groups of three
2.
(maths)
  1. (of a number system) to the base three
  2. involving or containing three variables
3.
(of an alloy, mixture, or chemical compound) having three different components or composed of three different elements
noun (pl) -ries
4.
a group of three
Word Origin
C14: from Latin ternārius, from ternī three each
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ternary
adj.

early 15c., from Late Latin ternarius "consisting of three," from terni "three by three," from ter "thrice," which is related to tres "three" (see three).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ternary in Medicine

ternary ter·na·ry (tûr'nə-rē)
adj.
Composed of three or arranged in threes, as a chemical compound containing three elements. n.
A group of three.

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

programming
A description of an operator taking three arguments. The only common example is C's ?: operator which is used in the form "CONDITION ? EXP1 : EXP2" and returns EXP1 if CONDITION is true else EXP2. Haskell has a similar "if CONDITION then EXP1 else EXP2" operator.
See also unary, binary.
(1998-07-29)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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