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
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