n. & adj.
1 a one more than two, or seven less than ten. b a symbol for this (3, iii, III).
2 a size etc. denoted by three.
3 the time of three o'clock.
4 a set of three.
5 a card with three pips.
—adj. that amount to three.
Phrases and idioms:
three-card trick a game in which bets are made on which is the queen among three cards lying face downwards. three cheers see CHEER. three-colour process a process of reproducing natural colours by combining photographic images in the three primary colours. three-cornered
1 triangular.
2 (of a contest etc.) between three parties as individuals.
1 a warship with three gun-decks.
2 a novel in three volumes.
3 a sandwich with three slices of bread. three-dimensional having or appearing to have length, breadth, and depth.
1 having or using three hands.
2 involving three players. three-legged race a running-race between pairs, one member of each pair having the left leg tied to the right leg of the other. three-line whip a written notice, underlined three times to denote urgency, to members of a political party to attend a parliamentary vote. three parts three quarters. three-phase see PHASE. three-piece consisting of three items (esp. of a suit of clothes or a suite of furniture). three-ply adj. of three strands, webs, or thicknesses.
1 three-ply wool.
2 three-ply wood made by gluing together three layers with the grain in different directions. three-point landing Aeron. the landing of an aircraft on the two main wheels and the tail wheel or skid simultaneously. three-point turn a method of turning a vehicle round in a narrow space by moving forwards, backwards, and forwards again in a sequence of arcs. three-quarter n. (also three-quarter back) Rugby Football any of three or four players just behind the half-backs.
1 consisting of three-fourths of something.
2 (of a portrait) going down to the hips or showing three-fourths of the face (between full face and profile). three-quarters three parts out of four. three-ring circus esp.
1 a circus with three rings for simultaneous performances.
2 an extravagant display. the three Rs reading, writing, and arithmetic, regarded as the fundamentals of learning. three-way involving three ways or participants. three-wheeler a vehicle with three wheels.
Etymology: OE thri f. Gmc

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Three — (thr[=e]), a. [OE. [thorn]re, [thorn]reo, [thorn]ri, AS. [thorn]r[=i], masc., [thorn]re[ o], fem. and neut.; akin to OFries. thre, OS. thria, threa, D. drie, G. drei, OHG. dr[=i], Icel. [thorn]r[=i]r, Dan. & Sw. tre, Goth. [thorn]reis, Lith. trys …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • three — /three/, n. 1. a cardinal number, 2 plus 1. 2. a symbol for this number, as 3 or III. 3. a set of this many persons or things. 4. a playing card, die face, or half of a domino face with three pips. adj. 5. amounting to three in number. 6. three… …   Universalium

  • three — O.E. þreo, fem. and neut. (masc. þri, þrie), from P.Gmc. *thrijiz (Cf. O.Fris. thre, M.Du., Du. drie, O.H.G. dri, Ger. drei, O.N. þrir, Dan. tre), from PIE *trejes (Cf. Skt. trayas, Avestan thri, Gk. treis …   Etymology dictionary

  • three — S1 [θri:] number [: Old English; Origin: thrie, threo] 1.) the number 3 ▪ They ve won their last three games. ▪ We d better go. It s almost three (=three o clock) . ▪ My little sister s only three (=three years old) . 2.) in threes in groups of… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • three — three; three·ling; three·pence; three·pen·ny; three·pen·ny·worth; three·fold; three·some; …   English syllables

  • Three — Three, n. 1. The number greater by a unit than two; three units or objects. [1913 Webster] 2. A symbol representing three units, as 3 or iii. [1913 Webster] {Rule of three}. (Arith.) See under {Rule}, n. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Three Rs — (pronounced three ars ), can refer to: * Animal testing, an abbreviation for, reduce, replace, refine * The three Rs, a widely used abbreviation for the basic elements of a primary school curriculum: reading, ’riting (writing), and ’rithmetic… …   Wikipedia

  • three-D — adjective a three D movie, picture, etc. looks as if it has height, depth, and width: a three D backdrop effect ╾ ,three D noun uncount: They re showing the film in three D …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • three — [thrē] adj. [ME < OE threo, thrie, akin to Ger drei < IE base * trei > L tres, Gr treis, Sans tri] totaling one more than two n. 1. the cardinal number between two and four; 3; III 2. any group of three people or things 3. something… …   English World dictionary

  • three-D — three D, 3 D [ˌθri: ˈdi:] adj a three D film or picture is made so that it appears to be three dimensional >three D n [U] ▪ a film in 3 D …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • three — ► CARDINAL NUMBER ▪ one more than two; 3. (Roman numeral: iii or III.) ● three parts Cf. ↑three parts DERIVATIVES threefold adjective & adverb. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

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