Definition of trireme in English:



  • An ancient Greek or Roman war galley with three banks of oars.

    • ‘Successive displays chronicle the Greek trireme, perhaps the ultimate statement of rowing power, the Venetian gondola, the Thames wherry, wooden-hulled lifeboats and arctic whaleboats.’
    • ‘The captain of the trireme, the trierarch, was not a specialist, but a wealthy citizen who had volunteered or been appointed to take up this prestigious position.’
    • ‘The best-known type of Greek galley was the TRIREME, with three banks of oars; a famous trireme battle took place between the Greek and Persian fleets at SALAMIS in 480 BC.’
    • ‘The force sent to Sicily consisted of 134 triremes and 27,000 men, the largest Athens had ever fielded.’
    • ‘In 483 B.C., the Athenian statesman Themistocles persuaded his fellow Athenians to build a navy of one hundred triremes.’


From Latin triremis, from tri- ‘three’ + remus ‘oar’.