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[tree-oh] /ˈtri oʊ/
noun, plural trios.
a musical composition for three voices or instruments.
a company of three singers or players.
any group of three persons or things.
a subordinate division of a minuet, scherzo, march, etc., usually in a contrasted key and style (perhaps originally written for three instruments or in three parts).
Origin of trio
1715-25; < Italian, equivalent to tri- tri- + (du)o two Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for trio
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Hitching up their packs, the trio of chums set off at a brisk pace.

  • The trio got into a waiting car and Haggerty trailed them in a taxi.

    Poisoned Air Sterner St. Paul Meek
  • He trailed sulkily in and the trio sat down in the little wire-backed chairs before a round, shiny table.

    A Son of the City Herman Gastrell Seely
  • When the trio were again in the library, the captain spoke once more.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The trial can only result in one thing—the breaking up and imprisonment of the trio.

    The Sorcery Club Elliott O'Donnell
British Dictionary definitions for trio


noun (pl) trios
a group of three people or things
  1. a group of three singers or instrumentalists or a piece of music composed for such a group
  2. a subordinate section in a scherzo, minuet, etc, that is contrastive in style and often in a related key
(piquet) three cards of the same rank
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, ultimately from Latin trēs three; compare duo
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 trio

1724, from French trio (c.1600), from Italian trio, from tri- "three" (see three); patterned on duo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for trio


Transplant Recipients International Organization
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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