a Russian carriage, wagon, or sleigh drawn by a team of three horses abreast.
a team of three horses driven abreast.
any group of three persons, nations, etc., acting equally in unison to exert influence, control, or the like.

1835–45; < Russian tróĭka threesome, troika, derivative of tróe three (collective), akin to tri three Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
troika (ˈtrɔɪkə)
1.  a Russian vehicle drawn by three horses abreast
2.  three horses harnessed abreast
3.  a triumvirate
[C19: from Russian, from troe three]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1842, "carriage drawn by three horses abreast," from Rus. troika "three-horse team, any group of three," from collective numeral troe "three" + dim. suffix -ka. Sense of "any group of three administrators, triumvirate" is first recorded 1945.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(Russian: "three"), any vehicle drawn by three horses abreast, usually a sleigh with runners but also a wheeled carriage. The three-horse team is also known as a unicorn team.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The last of the troika is the number of home-and-homes.
In essence it looks as if her government and the troika are arguing.
We are also coordinating with our two troika partners, who are each stepping up on critical negotiations that are underway.
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