three


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three

1. the cardinal number that is the sum of two and one and is a prime number
2. a numeral, 3, III, (iii), representing this number
3. the amount or quantity that is one greater than two
4. something representing, represented by, or consisting of three units such as a playing card with three symbols on it
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

three

symbolizes good luck; most holy of all numbers. [World Culture: Jobes, 1563–1566]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Among the precautions I used to take on the savages landing on the island, it was my constant care to prevent them making the least discovery of there being any inhabitant upon the place: and when by any occasion they came to know it, they felt it so effectually that they that got away were scarce able to give any account of it; for we disappeared as soon as possible, nor did ever any that had seen me escape to tell any one else, except it was the three savages in our last encounter who jumped into the boat; of whom, I mentioned, I was afraid they should go home and bring more help.
One age followed another--and still, generation after generation, the successors of the three Brahmins watched their priceless Moonstone, night and day.
The little Hexagon meditated on this a while and then said to me; "But you have been teaching me to raise numbers to the third power: I suppose 3^3 must mean something in Geometry; what does it mean?" "Nothing at all," replied I, "not at least in Geometry; for Geometry has only Two Dimensions." And then I began to shew the boy how a Point by moving through a length of three inches makes a Line of three inches, which may be represented by 3; and how a Line of three inches, moving parallel to itself through a length of three inches, makes a Square of three inches every way, which may be represented by 3^2.
They were the widow's three sons, Stout Will, and Lester, and John.
He longed still to have her as his Queen, and at last he sent a messenger to lure the fair lady and the three brave brothers back to Ireland.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes.
The principal aim of his journey was to reconnoitre Lake Tchad, from which he was still three hundred and fifty miles distant.
They were a magnificent pair, the king especially, who must have been all of six feet three inches in height.
Of three hundred that remained alive not one was taken unwounded, a clear and manifest proof of their gallantry and resolution, and how sturdily they had defended themselves and held their post.
And moreover, how about three oyster beds, one above another, and thick strata of good honest earth between?
I will choose three of my men, only, to go with me, and these three shall be Little John, mine own true right-hand man, Will Scarlet, my cousin, and Allan a Dale, my minstrel.
Then she told everything that had happened to her, and how, because she had exceeded her permission only to speak three words, the stove had disappeared with the Prince; and how she had searched a very long time, and must wander over mountain and valley till she found him.