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From Latin tripūs and its etymon, Ancient Greek τρίπους (trípous); doublet of tripod. In the sense associated with Cambridge University, the Tripus is named after the three-legged stool on which he sat during the degree-awarding ceremony.



tripus (plural tripodes)

  1. (obsolete, rare, in the historical of Cambridge University, capitalised when used as a title) A Bachelor of Arts appointed to make satirical strictures in humorous dispute with the candidates at a degree-awarding ceremony; tripos, prævaricator.
  2. (obsolete, rare) A vessel (usually a pot or cauldron) resting on three legs, often given as an ornament, a prize, or as an offering at a shrine to a god or oracle; often specifically, that such vessel upon which the priestess sat to deliver her oracles at the shrine to Apollo at Delphi; tripod.
  3. (zoology, in cypriniform fishes) The hindmost Weberian ossicle of the Weberian apparatus, touching the anterior wall of the swimbladder and connected by a dense, elongate ligament to the intercalarium.






From Ancient Greek τρίπους (trípous).



tripūs m (genitive tripodis); third declension

  1. three-footed seat, tripod
    • 1531, Procopius Caesariensis, De rebus Gothorum, Persarum ac Vandalorum libri VII, page 262
      Tripus ferrea ante regiã ſemper ſtare ſolebat...
      An iron tripod always used to stand in front of the palace...
  2. tripus (the tripod of the oracle at Delphi)
    • 1826, Børge Thorlacius, Vas pictum Halico-graecum quod Orestem ad tripodem Delphicum supplicem exhibet, main title (Schultz)
      Vas pictum Halico-graecum quod Orestem ad tripodem Delphicum supplicem exhibet
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

Usage notes[edit]

  • In post-Classical Latin, tripūs is sometimes treated as feminine.


Third declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative tripūs tripodēs
Genitive tripodis tripodum
Dative tripodī tripodibus
Accusative tripodem tripodēs
Ablative tripode tripodibus
Vocative tripūs tripodēs


Further reading[edit]

  • tripus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • tripus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • tripus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • tripus in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers