Definition of tierce in English:



  • 1

    another term for terce
  • 2Music
    An organ stop sounding two octaves and a major third above the pitch of the diapason.

  • 3(in piquet) a sequence of three cards of the same suit.

    • ‘Currently, the government tax is 12 per cent on simple pools such as win, place and quinella, and 20 per cent on exotic bets like tierce, double tierce and triple tierce.’
    • ‘You might sink an additional trio or tierce if the three points gained would cause you to fail to win the cards.’
  • 4Fencing
    The third of eight parrying positions.

    • ‘He reduced the number of useful guards to four and named them, ‘prima, seconda, terza and quarta ‘corresponding somewhat to our modern prime, second, tierce and quarte.’’
    • ‘A commonly used sabre parry, the three or tierce, is rarely seen in foil or épée so can be used to your advantage once you have mastered it.’
  • 5A former measure of wine equal to one third of a pipe, usually equivalent to 35 gallons (about 156 litres).

    1. 5.1archaic A cask containing a certain quantity of provisions, the amount varying with the goods.


  • tierce de picardie

    • A major third in the final chord of a piece in a minor key.

      • ‘Beginning in the relative major it marches through just about every key until finally finishing off with a densely orchestrated, most satisfying tierce de Picardie.’
      • ‘The four-part Fugue is in irregular 5/4 time, rigorously built up and emotionally profound as well as frantic; it leads to another transcendental tierce de Picardie.’
      • ‘The theme, though predominantly minor, always finishes with a switch to the major (a so-called tierce de Picardie), and these features make it easy to identify through the many transformations that follow.’
      • ‘This probably accounts for the tierce de Picardie, the practice of ending a composition in a minor mode upon a major triad.’
      • ‘Duality is resolved in a final tierce de Picardie.’


Late Middle English: variant of terce.