From Middle English trīcen, trice, trise (“to pull or push; to snatch away; to steal”), from Middle Dutch trīsen (“to hoist”) (modern Dutch trijsen) or Middle Low German trissen (“to trice the spritsail”); further etymology uncertain. The word is cognate with Danish trisse, tridse (“to haul with a pulley”), Low German trissen, tryssen, drisen, drysen (“to wind up, trice”), German trissen, triezen (“to annoy or torment”).
- (transitive, obsolete) To pull, to pull out or away, to pull sharply.
- 1875 August, Clements R[obert] Markham, “Arctic Ice-travels”, in E[dward] L[ivingston] Youmans, editor, The Popular Science Monthly, volume VII, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton and Company, […], →OCLC, page 479:
- The tent is made of light, close, unbleached duck, […] A window, six inches square, is fitted at the upper end with a flap to trice up or haul down.
- (transitive) To drag or haul, especially with a rope; specifically (nautical) to haul or hoist and tie up by means of a rope.
- 1900, Joseph Conrad, chapter 3, in Lord Jim:
- ... the fold of his double chin hung like a bag triced up close under the hinge of his jaw.
- 1911, Arthur H[amilton] Clark, “California Clippers of 1852—The ‘Sovereign of the Seas’”, in The Clipper Ship Era: An Epitome of Famous American and British Clipper Ships, Their Owners, Builders, Commanders, and Crews 1843–1869, New York, N.Y., London: G. P. Putnam's Sons […], →OCLC, page 215:
- One of the two men landed had shot and wounded the mate, and the other, known as "Doublin Jack," had knocked the second mate down with a handspike. Captain Low put both these men in irons, triced them up in the mizzen rigging, and gave them each four dozen lashes of ratline stuff, which they had well earned.
- trise (obsolete)
From Middle English trīce, trise, in the phrase at a trīce (“with a single, quick motion; at once”, literally “with a pull or jerk”), later also in the phrases in a trice, on a trice, and with a trice. The word is ultimately from Middle English trīcen: see etymology 1 above.
trice (plural trices)
- Now only in the phrase in a trice: a very short time; the blink of an eye, an instant, a moment.
- c. 1603–1606 (date written), [William Shakespeare], […] His True Chronicle Historie of the Life and Death of King Lear and His Three Daughters. […] (First Quarto), London: […] Nathaniel Butter, […], published 1608, →OCLC, [Act I, scene i]:
- This is most ſtrange, that ſhe, who even but now
Was your beſt object, the argument of your praiſe,
Balme of your age, moſt beſt, moſt deereſt,
Should in this trice of time commit a thing
So monſtrous, to diſmantell ſo many foulds of fauour, […]
- 1907, Robert W[illiam] Service, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”, in The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses, New York, N.Y.: Barse & Hopkins, publishers, →OCLC, page 53:
- Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."
- 2023 October 14, Simon Schama, “Let us be, to grieve, rage, weep; say the mourners' kaddish”, in FT Weekend, page 9:
- Perhaps images then, not words? Of terrified young people who in a trice went from dancing to frantic running in a futile attempt to escape the spray of bullets; […]
From Middle English trīce, tryys, tryyst, from Middle Dutch trīse, trijs (modern Dutch trijs (“hoisting-block, pulley, windlass”)) or Middle Low German trīsse, trītse (“hoisting-rope, tackle”); probably related to the verb trice (see etymology 1 above), and perhaps to Old English tryndel (“roller, wheel”) (see further at trend, trindle). The English word is cognate with Danish tridse, trisse (“pulley”), Low German trissel (“dizziness; whirling”), German trieze (“crane; pulley”), Norwegian triss (“pulley”), Swedish trissa (“pulley, truckle”).
trice (plural trices)
- (obsolete, rare) A pulley, a windlass (“form of winch for lifting heavy weights, comprising a cable or rope wound around a cylinder”).
- ^ “trīcen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 26 August 2018.
- ^ “trice, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1914.
- ^ “trīce, n.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 26 August 2018; “trice, n.2”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1914.
- ^ “trīce, n.(1)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 26 August 2018.
- ^ Compare “trice, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1914.