1. A long, three-pronged fork or weapon, especially a three-pronged spear used for fishing.
2. Greek & Roman Mythology The three-pronged spear carried by Neptune or Poseidon.
adj. also tri·den·tate (trī-dĕntāt)
Having three teeth, prongs, or similar protrusions.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin tridēns, trident- : tri-, tri- + dēns, tooth; see dent- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)trident
detail of a statue of Britannia outside St. Paul's Cathedral
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.