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  • IPA(key): /ˈtɹɛbəl/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛbəl

Etymology 1[edit]

PIE word

From Middle English treble, from Old French treble, from Latin triplus. Doublet of triple.


treble (not comparable)

  1. (music) Pertaining to the highest singing voice or part in harmonized music; soprano.
    • 1957, Salinger, J[erome] D[avid], “Zooey”, in Franny and Zooey, published 1961:
      He put his cigar in his mouth, and, with his right hand, up in the treble keys, he began to play, in octaves, the melody of a song called "The Kinkajou," which, somewhat notably, had shifted into and ostensibly out of popularity before he was born.
  2. High in pitch; shrill.
  3. (rare) Threefold, triple.
    • 1697, Dryden, John, chapter 6, in The Aeneid by Virgil:
      A lofty tower, and strong on every side / With treble walls.
    • 1837 Penny Cyclopedia, vol. 7, s.v. "Constantinople":
      The treble walls and ditches on the land side [...] diminish the extent of ground covered with houses.
Related terms[edit]


treble (not comparable)

  1. Trebly; triply.


treble (plural trebles)

  1. (music) The highest singing voice (especially as for a boy) or part in musical composition.
    • 1959, The Musical quarterly - Volume 45, page xlvi:
      He starts out by saying that there are three sights, the mene, treble, and quadreble, but actually he discusses only two, the treble and quadreble, both of which are read at the transposition of an octave.
    • 1991, Blanche Gangwere, Music history during the Renaissance period, 1425-1520, page 25:
      The voices include a counter (always below the tenor), a countertenor (moving above and below the tenor), mene, treble, and quadreble.
    • 2003, Willi Apel, Don Michael Randel, The Harvard Dictionary of Music, page 780:
      The counter involves transposition of the sighted note to the fifth below (for extremely low notes a twelfth), the mene and countertenor do not transpose, the treble transposes to the octave above, and the quadreble to the twelfth above.
  2. (music) A person or instrument having a treble voice or pitch; a boy soprano.
  3. The highest tuned in a ring of bells.
  4. Any high-pitched or shrill voice or sound.
  5. A threefold quantity or number; something having three parts or having been tripled.
  6. A drink with three portions of alcohol.
  7. (darts) Any of the narrow areas enclosed by the two central circles on a dartboard, worth three times the usual value of the segment.
  8. (sports) Three goals, victories, awards etc. in a given match or season.


treble (third-person singular simple present trebles, present participle trebling, simple past and past participle trebled)

  1. (transitive) To multiply by three; to make into three parts, layers, or thrice the amount.
  2. (intransitive) To become multiplied by three or increased threefold.
  3. (intransitive) To make a shrill or high-pitched noise.
  4. (transitive) To utter in a treble key; to whine.
    • 1618, George Chapman, A Hymn to Hermes
      He outrageously / (When I accused him) trebled his reply.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]


treble (plural trebles)

  1. Alternative form of tribble (frame for drying paper)


Old French[edit]


From Latin triplus.


treble m (oblique and nominative feminine singular treble)

  1. treble; triple


  • Middle English: treble