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Merriam-Webster defines ménage à trois as:

an arrangement in which three persons (as a married pair and the lover of one of the pair) share sexual relations especially while living together

I would like to know whether an equivalent term exists in English that does not use French loanwords, something that “sounds” English.

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user, "triangle" (MW 3 : a situation in which one member of a couple is involved in a love affair with a third person) perhaps can be used. –  user19148 Jun 15 '13 at 14:25
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@Carlo_R. the meaning of love triangle is distinct from that of ménage à trois. The two words shouldn't be confused. –  misensalem Jun 15 '13 at 14:28
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"A three-way", or as I'd like to say, "a personal best for me". :P And it looks like a perfectly reasonable question, given that no one bothered to mention this obvious answer (as is often the case). –  Canis Lupus Jun 15 '13 at 14:49

1 Answer 1

The English equivalent to ménage à trois is quite simply ménage à trois. The OED lists it under its entry for ménage, where it says it means:

an arrangement or relationship in which three people live together, usually consisting of a husband, his wife, and the lover of one of these.

I’m not sure that definition necessarily covers all modern situations, considering that there are many unmarried persons living together. Also, there may be some notion that all three are equally lovers of each other, not just a two-to-one scenario.

You might get away with threesome, but that more often applies more to one given intimate encounter than it does to when everyone is living together intimately.

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Surely the English equivalent of a menage a trois - is a nice cup of tea ? –  mgb Jun 16 '13 at 23:34
    
@mgb They love their tea ... –  hunter2 Sep 13 '13 at 8:49

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