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Having three angles. In botany, a triangular stem has three prominent longitudinal angles; a triangular leaf has three prominent angles, without any reference to their measurement or direction. Martyn. Smith.


After the form of a triangle. Harris.

TRI'ARCH-Y, n. [Gr. τρεις and αρχη.]

Government by three persons.

TRI-A'RI-AN, a. [L. triarii.]

Occupying the third post or place. Cowley.

TRIBE, n. [W. trev; Gael. treabh; Sax. thorpe, D. dorp, G. dorf; Sw. and Dan. torp, a hamlet or village; L. tribus. We have tribe from the last. In Welsh, the word signifies a dwelling place, homestead, hamlet, or town, as does the Sax. thorpe. The Sax. træf is a tent; Russ. derevni, an estate, a hamlet. From the sense of house, the word came to signify a family, a race of descendants from one progenitor, who originally settled round him and formed a village.]

  1. A family, race, or series of generations, descending from the same progenitor, and kept distinct, as in the case of the twelve tribes of Israel, descended from the twelve sons of Jacob.
  2. A division, class, or distinct portion of people, from whatever canse that distinction may have originated. The city of Athens was divided into ten tribes. Rome was originally divided into three tribes; afterward the people were distributed into thirty tribes, and afterward into thirty-five. Roman Hist.
  3. A number of things having certain characters or resemblances in common; as, a tribe of plants; a tribe of animals. Linnæus distributed the vegetable kingdom into three tribes, viz. monocotyledonous, dicotyledonous, and acotyledonous plants, and these he subdivided into gentes or nations. Martyn. By recent naturalists, tribe has been used for a division of animals or vegetables, intermediate between order and genus. Cuvier divides his orders into families, and his families into tribes, including under the latter one or more genera. Leach, in his arrangement of insects, makes his tribes, on the contrary, the primary subdivisions of his orders, and his families subordinate to them, and immediately including the genera. Cuvier. Ed. Encyc. Tribes of plants, in gardening, are such us are related to each other by some natural affinity or resemblance; as by their duration, the annual, biennial, and perennial tribes; by their roots, as the bulbous, tuberous, and fibrous-rooted tribes; by the loss or retention of their leaves, as the deciduous and evergreen tribes; by their fruits and seeds, as the leguminous, bacciferous, coniferous, nuciferous, and pomiferous tribes &c. Cyc.
  4. A division; a number considered collectively.
  5. A nation of savages; a body of rude people united under one leader or government; as, the tribes of the six nations, the Seneca tribe in America.
  6. A number of persons of any character or profession; in contempt; as, the scribbling tribe. Roscommon.

TRIBE, v.t.

To distribute into tribes or classes. [Not much used.] Bp. Nicholson.


A goldsmith's tool for making rings. Ainsworth.

TRI-BOM'E-TER, n. [Gr. τριβω, to rub or wear, and μετρον, measure.]

An instrument to ascertain the degree of friction. Cyc. Entick.

TRI'BRACH, n. [Gr. τρεις, three, and βραχυς, short.]

In ancient prosody, a poetic foot of three short syllables, as, mĕlĭŭs.


Having three bracts. Decandolle.

TRIB-U-LA'TION, n. [Fr. from L. tribulo, to thrash, to beat.]

Severe affliction; distresses of life; vexations. In Scripture, it often denotes the troubles and distresses which proceed from persecution. When tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, he is offended. Matth. xiii. In the world ye shall have tribulation. John xvi.

TRI-BU'NAL, n. [L. tribunal, from tribunus, a tribune, who administered justice.]

  1. Properly, the seat of a judge; the bench on which a judge and his associates sit for administering justice.
  2. More generally, a court of justice; as, the house of lords in England is the highest tribunal in the kingdom.
  3. [Fr. tribunel.] In France, a gallery or eminence in a church or other place, in which the musical performers are placed for a concert.

TRIB'U-NA-RY, a. [from tribune.]

Pertaining to tribunes.

TRIB'UNE, n. [Fr. tribun; L. tribunus, from tribus, tribe; Sp. and It. tribuno.]

  1. In ancient Rome, an officer or magistrate chosen by the people, to protect them from the oppression of the patricians or nobles, and to defend their liberties against any attempts that might be made upon them by the senate and consuls. These magistrates were at first two, but their number was increased ultimately to ten. There were also military tribunes, officers of the army, each of whom commanded a division or legion. In the year of Rome 731, the senate transferred the authority of the tribunes to Augustus and his successors. There were also other officers called tribunes; as, tribunes of the treasury, of the horse, of the making of arms, &c. Cyc.
  2. A bench or elevated place, from which speeches were delivered.
  3. In France, a pulpit or elevated place in the chamber of deputies, where a speaker stands to address the assembly.


The office of a tribune. Addison.


  1. Pertaining to tribunes; as, a tribunician power or anthority. Middleton.
  2. Suiting a tribune.


In a tributary manner.


The state of being tributary.

TRIB'U-TA-RY, a. [from tribute.]

  1. Paying tribute to another, either from compulsion, as an acknowledgment of submission, or to secure protection, or for the purpose of purchasing peace. The republic of Ragusa is tributary to the grand seignor. Many of the powers of Europe are tributary to the Barbary states.
  2. Subject; subordinate. He, to grace his tributary gods. Milton.
  3. Paid in tribute. No flatt'ry tunes these tributary lays. Concanen.
  4. Yielding supplies of any thing. The Ohio has many large tributary streams; and is itself tributary to the Mississippi.


One that pays tribute or a stated sum to a conquering power, for the purpose of securing peace and protection, or as an acknowledgment of submission, or for the purchase of security. What a reproach to nations, that they should be the tributaries of Algiers!

TRIB'UTE, n. [Fr. tribut; L. tributum, from tribuo, to give, bestow, or divide.]

  1. An annual or stated sum of money or other valuable thing, paid by one prince or nation to another, either as an acknowledgment of submission, or as the price of peace and protection, or by virtue of some treaty. The Romans made all their conquered countries pay tribute, as do the Turks at this day; and in some countries the tribute is paid in children. Cyc.
  2. A personal contribution; as, a tribute of respect.
  3. Something given or contributed.

TRIB'UTE, v.t.

To pay as tribute.


Paid as tribute.


Paying as tribute.

TRI-CAP'SU-LAR, a. [L. tres, three, and capsula, a little chest.]

In botany, three-capsuled; having three capsules to each flower. Martyn.