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#26822 - 04/16/01 09:39 PM Thrice yearly?
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
In a newsgroup I frequent, someone asked for a word to describe an event that happens 3 times a year. Here is the entire discussion to date, I would be very interested to know what you all think. Almost all the people who post to this newsgroup are tertiary-educated professionals, with an unusually high number of engineers (divers flavours), along with lawyers, and a few political staffers.
Okay, I'll ask all the people here. I know that semi-annual
will describe an event that takes place twice a year. Tri-annual or
triennial would be every three years. So is there a word for three times a year. I've been unable to find one in the dictionary or any place else.
how about terti-annual?
What about something to the effect of quadrimonthly? Express it in terms
of every four months instead of 3 times a year?
As you probably know, "biweekly" can mean either twice a week or every
two weeks. If you're going to have to make up a word anyway, I'd go with
tri-annual and live with the ambiguity. It seems to me more logical that a
reader would assume tri-annual to mean three times a year and not once every
three years.
Yeah, trimester applies to both three academic periods in the academic
year, as well as to thirds of gestation. I doubt anybody but a book
author could make a living publishing anything once every three years...
Trimesterly was the suggestion on another list.
I think it's better to avoid the problem and say 'three times a year' or
'thrice yearly'.
Look at the problem with 'biannual' (twice a year) and 'biennial' (once
every two years)...
Oh yeah, I can see someone saying "thrice" right now!
Hey, what's wrong with thrice? I hear it at least twice a
triannual (adj.) tri·an·nu·al
1. done, occurring, issued, etc., three times a year.
2. triennial.
3. a triannual publication, contest, etc.
4. triennial.

The Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary Copyright © 2001 by Random
House Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

See: http://www.allwords.com/
Well, even though "triannual" appears to NOT be a word in any dictionary I
have looked... it should be!
So, start using it! I'm gonna.

I was a little bemused, as I simply thought to myself that since biannual means twice a year, triannual would mean thrice (namaste, shanks) a year. Did I oversimplify it?

#26823 - 04/16/01 10:48 PM Re: Thrice yearly?
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
>did I oversimplify it?

yes, but you more than made up for that with this post.
actually®, you don't find triannual in many dictionaries becuase it seems to have gone obsolete (and was used pretty rarely in the first place).

Obs. rare.

Occurring every three years; lasting for three years; = triennial.
1640 Par. Acc. St. Barth. by Exchange in Archæologia XLV. 78 Pd. the ringers for joy of the tryannual Parliament, o. 2. 6. 1656 Earl of Monmouth tr. Boccalini's Advts. fr. Parnass. i. lxix. 133 He was deputed a Triannual President of the Isle of Negrapont.

¶b. Occurring thrice a year.
1901 Daily Chron. 8 June 5/2 The ladies+we learn+will hold ‘tri-annual invitation meetings’.+ That, we suppose, means an invitation once in four months.


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