One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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 A group of three powerful or notable people or things existing in relation to each other.‘a triumvirate of three former executive vice presidents’
- ‘He shot into fame as one of the triumvirate during an All-India agitation against the partition of Bengal.’
- ‘The executive power was vested in a triumvirate that was even more moderate than the assembly.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘But that did not happen, and the House of Lords survived in a triumvirate with the king and Commons.’
- ‘Finally, in the last few days, IBM, the father of PC technology, has added its corporate voice to those of this powerful triumvirate.’
- ‘Under a ruling triumvirate, no one executive has clear control.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘For now there are two rival triumvirates - main owner, dedicated trainer and retained jockey - fighting it out for supremacy.’
- ‘However, Elizabeth, James and Henry formed a triumvirate of monarchs, to which Essex, as her creature, could not aspire.’
- ‘‘It was thought we'd be quite a good triumvirate,’ he explains.’
- ‘The government has also organized a triumvirate merger between three state-owned financial institutions.’
- ‘The great triumvirate of white South African novelists share obvious preoccupations in the new South Africa.’
- ‘The deadlocked triumvirate of urban political authority was unable to effect the economic changes necessary to revitalize the local economy.’
- ‘It should have focused the minds, but Liverpool were still looking lethargic, with the striking triumvirate remarkably light on goalscoring opportunities.’
- ‘The three brothers made an unlikely 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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘He provided the balance within the ruling triumvirate, holding command over the 45,000-strong army.’
- 1.1 A group of three powerful or notable people or things existing in relation to each other.
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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Antony emerged triumphant and the dominant partner of the triumvirate, while Octavian's seeming cowardice caused a severe if temporary setback to his ambitions.’
Late 16th century: from Latin triumviratus, from triumvir (see triumvir).
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