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From Old French tierce, from Latin tertia < tertius.


tierce (plural tierces)

  1. A cask whose content is one third of a pipe; that is, forty-two wine gallons; also, a liquid measure of forty-two wine, or thirty-five imperial, gallons.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 22
      Have an eye to the molasses tierce, Mr. Stubb; it was a little leaky, I thought.
    • 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, p. 205:
      Again, by 28 Hen. VIII, cap. 14, it is re-enacted that the tun of wine should contain 252 gallons, a butt of Malmsey 126 gallons, a pipe 126 gallons, a tercian or puncheon 84 gallons, a hogshead 63 gallons, a tierce 41 gallons, a barrel 31.5 gallons, a rundlet 18.5 gallons.
  2. A cask larger than a barrel, and smaller than a hogshead or a puncheon, in which salt provisions, rice, etc., are packed for shipment.
  3. (music) The third tone of the scale. See mediant.
  4. (card games) A sequence of three playing cards of the same suit. Tierce of ace, king and queen is called tierce-major.
  5. (fencing) The third defensive position, with the sword hand held at waist height, and the tip of the sword at head height.
  6. (heraldry) An ordinary that covers the left or right third of the field of a shield or flag.
  7. (religion, Roman Catholic) The third hour of the day, or nine a. m,; one of the canonical hours; also, the service appointed for that hour.
  8. (obsolete) One sixtieth of a second, i.e., the third in a series of fractional parts in a sexagesimal number system. (Also known as a third.)





From Old French, from Latin tertia.


tierce (masculine and feminine, plural tierces)

  1. feminine form of tiers


tierce f (plural tierces)

  1. (music) third
  2. terce


External links[edit]

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin tertius, tertia, tertium.


tierce m, f

  1. third

Related terms[edit]