tertian (not comparable)
- Of a fever, characterised by paroxysms every third day.
- (music) Pertaining to the mean-tone temperament, in which major thirds are perfectly in tune.
tertian (plural tertians)
- A tertian fever.
- And although we feele it not, it is not to bee doubted, if a continuall ague may in the end suppresse our mind, a tertian will also (according to her measure and proportion) breed some alteration in it.
- 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto 1:
- He died of the slow fever call'd the tertian, / And left his widow to her own aversion.
- The puncheon, an old wine cask, three of which made a tun.