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Alteration of Latin tripus, as though with a Greek ending. For the examination: the word is supposed to refer to the three-legged stool formerly used at the examinations for these honours, though some derive it from the three brackets formerly printed on the back of the paper.



tripos ‎(plural triposes)

  1. (obsolete) A three-legged structure; a tripod.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, New York Review of Books, 2001, p.73:
      Thales sent the golden tripos, which the fishermen found and the oracle commanded to be “given to the wisest”, to Bias, Bias to Solon, etc.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  2. Any of the final examinations for a BA honours degree at Cambridge University.