Definition of triumvirate in English:



  • 1(in ancient Rome) a group of three men holding power, in particular (the First Triumvirate) the unofficial coalition of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus in 60 BC and (the Second Triumvirate) a coalition formed by Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian in 43 BC.

    1. 1.1A group of three powerful or notable people or things existing in relation to each other.
      ‘a triumvirate of three former executive vice presidents’
      • ‘But I do know there is a greater prospect he will seek a bit of equity in the distribution of investment and development of infrastructure than the present triumvirate.’
      • ‘For now there are two rival triumvirates - main owner, dedicated trainer and retained jockey - fighting it out for supremacy.’
      • ‘The men wearing numbers 5, 6 and 35 make up a defensive triumvirate as formidable, aggressive, powerful and obdurate as any in the club's history.’
      • ‘The executive power was vested in a triumvirate that was even more moderate than the assembly.’
      • ‘‘It was thought we'd be quite a good triumvirate,’ he explains.’
      • ‘He provided the balance within the ruling triumvirate, holding command over the 45,000-strong army.’
      • ‘In the Bacon Labor Government three men were invariably referred to as the triumvirate and credited with being the power behind the Tasmanian Government's success.’
      • ‘In 1923, as he fought for ‘proletarian democracy’ against the triumvirate led by Stalin, he changed his mind again, but by then he was too involved to speak decisively.’
      • ‘But that did not happen, and the House of Lords survived in a triumvirate with the king and Commons.’
      • ‘Under a ruling triumvirate, no one executive has clear control.’
      • ‘The government has also organized a triumvirate merger between three state-owned financial institutions.’
      • ‘Finally, in the last few days, IBM, the father of PC technology, has added its corporate voice to those of this powerful triumvirate.’
      • ‘However, Elizabeth, James and Henry formed a triumvirate of monarchs, to which Essex, as her creature, could not aspire.’
      • ‘He shot into fame as one of the triumvirate during an All-India agitation against the partition of Bengal.’
      • ‘The deadlocked triumvirate of urban political authority was unable to effect the economic changes necessary to revitalize the local economy.’
      • ‘The three brothers made an unlikely triumvirate.’
      • ‘The great triumvirate of white South African novelists share obvious preoccupations in the new South Africa.’
      • ‘Hermione isn't portrayed as the main character but she is the main source of knowledge, even wisdom, I would say, and adds strength in the triumvirate.’
      • ‘The unpalatable truth, which the cosy triumvirate of mainstream parties refuse to face, is that there is not, and never has been a liberal consensus in this country.’
      • ‘It should have focused the minds, but Liverpool were still looking lethargic, with the striking triumvirate remarkably light on goalscoring opportunities.’
  • 2The office of triumvir in ancient Rome.

    • ‘Mark Antony has been spending his time in Egypt with his mistress, Cleopatra, and neglecting his duties as part of the triumvirate of Rome.’
    • ‘Antony emerged triumphant and the dominant partner of the triumvirate, while Octavian's seeming cowardice caused a severe if temporary setback to his ambitions.’
    • ‘In the wake of his death, three men moved forward to form a new triumvirate which would punish Caesar's assassins and then divide up the Roman world.’
    • ‘In 36, Octavian defeated Pompey's son Sextus Pompeius at Naulochus, and also ousted Lepidus from the triumvirate.’


Late 16th century: from Latin triumviratus, from triumvir (see triumvir).