Etymology
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ternary (adj.)

"threefold," early 15c., from Late Latin ternarius "consisting of three," from terni "three by three," from ter "thrice," which is related to tres "three" (see three).

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Definitions of ternary
1
ternary (n.)
the cardinal number that is the sum of one and one and one;
Synonyms: three / " / iii / trio / threesome / tierce / leash / troika / triad / trine / trinity / ternion / triplet / tercet / terzetto / trey / deuce-ace
2
ternary (adj.)
having three units or components or elements;
a ternary operation
Synonyms: treble / triple / triplex
From wordnet.princeton.edu