1 [triv-it]
a small metal plate with short legs, especially one put under a hot platter or dish to protect a table.
a three-footed or three-legged stand or support, especially one of iron placed over a fire to support cooking vessels or the like.

1375–1425; late Middle English trevet, Old English trefet, apparently blend of Old English thrifēte three-footed and Latin triped-, stem of tripēs three-footed (with Vulgar Latin -e- for Latin -i-) Unabridged


2 [triv-it]
a special knife for cutting pile loops, as of velvet or carpets.
Also, trivette.

origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
trivet (ˈtrɪvɪt)
1.  a stand, usually three-legged and metal, on which cooking vessels are placed over a fire
2.  a short metal stand on which hot dishes are placed on a table
3.  old-fashioned as right as a trivet in perfect health
[Old English trefet (influenced by Old English thrifēte having three feet), from Latin tripēs having three feet]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

three-legged iron stand, 12c., trefet, probably from L. tripedem (nom. tripes) "three-footed," from tri- "three" + pes "foot" (see foot).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


stand or support for utensils before or on the fire. Usually made of wrought iron, the most common variety, from the 17th century, stands on three legs and has a circular plate with perforated decoration, often in the form of a date. Another early type, short-legged, stood in the fire to support a cast-iron pot. Later, in the second half of the 18th century, trivets designed to be hung from fire bars were made. These were of two types: an oblong, standing trivet with a handle at one end and projections to fit over the fire bars at the other, and a plate that could be attached to the fire bar. Some of the latter were hung inside the grate supporting a vessel over the fire

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Set in a kettle on a trivet, and surround with cold water.
For pots that did not have fat on them, a trivet was required for supporting it.
Students will gain an understanding of the process of laminating wood to create a design by making a trivet or coaster.
Take the hot pan with the omelet to the table and place it on a trivet.
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