Printable Version
Pronunciation: trai-êmf Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A spectacular victory or success, a major conquest. 2. A striking achievement, an outstanding accomplishment.

Notes: Today's word may be used "as-is" as a verb, i.e. 'to triumph over something'. The adjective is triumphant "having the nature of a triumph", as 'a triumphant victory', or triumphal "celebrating a triumph", as 'a triumphal march'.

In Play: The original meaning of this word had only to do with winning some contest: "After our triumph in World War II, America has engaged in a horrendous series of pitiful military ties and losses." However, this sense has moderately expanded to any kind of success: "The musical South Pacific was a theatrical triumph in its day."

Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from Old French triumphe (Modern French triomphe). Old French inherited the word from Latin triumphus. Spanish and Portuguese inherited the same word as triunfo, and Italian as trionfo. Latin triumphus probably came from an older form triumpus, possibly borrowed from Greek thriambos "hymn to Dionysus". We can only guess that the ancient Greeks borrowed it from some non-Indo-European language in the region, but the trail ends in Greece for our purposes. (Now for a triumphal show of gratitude to Gordon Wray for recommending today's rather ostentatious Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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