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Is "tri-quarterly" a real English word meaning 3 times a year? Are there any other words that mean 3 times a year?

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Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/18540/… –  coleopterist Sep 22 '12 at 19:23
    
Also related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/64086/… –  J.R. Sep 22 '12 at 19:50
    
A superficial use of google leads one to think that this is 'not a word'. It is used as a title of a literary magazine, but that's about it. I don't think there's anything useful one can say about this word that is anything but speculative. –  Mitch Feb 6 '13 at 21:22
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something published every four months might be most acceptably and clearly described as being published "thrice yearly" or "three times a year" –  user52668 Sep 23 '13 at 22:41
    
Tri-quarterly, absolutely, means either (a) every three quarters or (b) three times a quarter. It's that simple. The OPs specific question: "does it mean three times per year": answer is absolutely, definitely NOT. –  Joe Blow Mar 28 at 12:43
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up vote 12 down vote accepted

If "tri-quarterly" means anything, surely it would be every third quarter (every nine months). Or possibly three times a quarter, which is monthly. You can't redefine a quarter as a third, though.

Three times a year is triannual — not triennial which is every three years. You could also say every four months; "every four months" is preferable because it removes the possibility of confusion between triennial and triannual.

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The OED records the adjective triannual as obsolete, but gives it both as ‘occurring every three years’ and ‘occurring thrice a year’. It gives the adjective ‘triennial’ as ‘existing or lasting for three years’ and ‘recurring every three years’. –  Barrie England Sep 22 '12 at 19:10
    
Triannually was what I found as well, but not in the dictionary, but I couldn't find any validation for tri-quarterly although a few magazines use it that are published 3 times a year. I will accept this answer if I don't get any other suggestions. –  Drai Sep 22 '12 at 20:04
    
Drai- if you say there are magazines published three times a year, which use the term tri-quarterly. Then, those publishers are, idiots. Total morons. However: many, many words exist where, indeed, the origin precisely shows that many people are staggeringly stupid and incomprehensibly, stunningly, bad at understanding language. So: it could well be that ("bizarrely"), tri-quarterly was (let's say) once jokingly used by The Onion to refer to three times a year publication; then a few surf magazines used it (not realising it was a joke), and now it's broadly used in the industry. If so, yeah. –  Joe Blow Mar 28 at 12:49
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