tertium quid


tertium quid

noun

  1. something related in some way to two things, but distinct from both; something intermediate between two things.

noun

  1. an unknown or indefinite thing related in some way to two known or definite things, but distinct from boththere is either right or wrong, with no tertium quid

n.1724, Latin, literally “third something,” loan-translation of Greek triton ti (Plato), used in alchemy for “unidentified element present in a combination of two known ones.”

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