late 14c., "three times, triple," from O.Fr. treble
(12c.), from L. triplus
). The verb is recorded from early 14c. The noun meaning "highest part in music, soprano" is attested from early 14c., from O.Fr. treble
; in early contrapuntal music, the chief melody was in the tenor, and the treble was the "third" part above it (after the alto).