tri-D n.

a device or system capable of transmitting or displaying a three dimensional image or video; (also) a three-dimensional image or video

Also in form tri-di, tri-dee.

  • 1950 J. Blish Okie in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 90/2 page image James Blish bibliography

    Get a picture of him somewhere, a tri-di if they have them here.

  • 1951 D. Knight in Galaxy Science Fiction June 59/1 Damon Knight

    He barked at Vargas, ‘Turn on the tri-D!’ Vargas stumbled over to his desk and obeyed. A five foot disc set into a low platform on his right glowed faintly, sparked and then spat a vertical stream of color. The image steadied and became the all too convincing three-dimensional replica of a portly man with a bulbous nose and long gray hair.

  • 1953 P. Jones in Startling Stories June 9/1

    Hollywood, bidding fair to becoming a ghost town with the advent of tv, is now letting out its stays to breathe one hearty sigh of relief before settling down to the serious business of grinding out tri-di movies.

  • 1953 P. Jones in Startling Stories June 9/1

    Tri-di is nothing new to the pages of science fiction, and depending on how long it takes for tv engineers to catch up with Hollywood and Startling Stories, the movie-makers can count on a few green years while the public sifts out its preferences in triple takes.

  • 1953 P. Jones in Startling Stories June 9/2

    Out of the Victorian era’s popular toy, the stereopticon, the British outfit called Stereo-Techniques has developed its tri-di technique. Cinemascope, the Twentieth Century-Fox entry in the tri-di derby, is a simple color film device which simulates third dimension on a concave screen giving a panoramic effect. Who'll win the tri-di sweepstakes is anybody’s guess.

  • 1954 F. Pohl in Galaxy Science Fiction Apr. 49/1 Frederik Pohl

    It was an enormous glaringly new mansion, bigger even than Morey’s former house, stuffed to bursting with bulging sofas and pianos and massive mahogany chairs and tri-D sets and bedrooms and drawing rooms and breakfast rooms and nurseries.

  • 1960 P. J. Farmer in Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct. 107/2 Philip José Farmer

    What a panic that would create! People running to stare at this monster seen now only on tri-di or in the zoo!

  • 1961 A. Norton Catseye (1962) 33 Andre Norton

    The animal in the tri-dee was clearly depicted life-size, the usual procedure for smaller beasts.

  • 1962 P. Anderson Shield in Fantastic Stories of Imagination June 63/2 page image Poul Anderson bibliography

    On his back he carried a lumpy metal cylinder; the harness included a plastic panel across his chest, with switches, knobs, and three meters. Like some science fiction hero on the 3D.

  • 1966 K. Laumer in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Mar. 147/1 Keith Laumer

    The president was here just now. He came in, looking just like the Tri-D, only older, and he came over and looked at me kind of like I looked at him.

  • 1966 R. Zelazny in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction June 22/2 Roger Zelazny

    After appearing on tri-dee a couple times [sic] , sounding off about interstellar culture, and flashing her white, white teeth, she picked up a flush contract.

  • 1969 ‘J. Tiptree, Jr.’ in Galaxy Mag. Jan. 64/1 James Tiptree, Jr.

    He pointed to the tridi where a large ostrich-like fowl was brandishing his pinions and lofting himself easily as he pranced about.

  • 1969 ‘J. Tiptree, Jr.’ in Galaxy Mag. Jan. 76/2 James Tiptree, Jr.

    Interest in their home system was at fever pitch. The secretariat had arranged tridi FTL coverage from underneath the transparent track, so that viewers could observe the cell-by-cell approach.

  • 1970 ‘A. Norton’ Dread Companion (1984) 10 Andre Norton

    Now—I want a run-through of the Ruhkarv report in comparison with the tridees from Xcothal.

  • 1970 ‘A. Norton’ Dread Companion (1984) 183 Andre Norton

    Kosgro switched the three through the air and thrust in and out with them as I had seen swords used in tridee tapes made on primitive worlds.

  • 1982 A. McCaffrey Crystal Singer 85 Anne McCaffrey

    Her quarters were as good as the guest facility in the Shankill Base, nothing gaudy but certainly substantial: bed, table, chairs, writing surface, tri-d screen, the customary audio-visual terminals.

  • 2011 C. Miéville Embassytown 88 page image China Miéville bibliography

    Scile spent hours, many hours, listening to recordings of Ariekei speaking, watching trids and flats of encounters between them and the Ambassadors.


Research requirements

antedating 1950

Earliest cite

James Blish, in Astounding

Research History
Looking for all variants (including capitalization variants) of 'tri-D', 'tri-di', 'and 'tri-dee'.

The OED has cites for tri-D (Adams, 1979), and Tri-D (Julian May, 1981). Katrina Campbell submitted a 1982 cite for the form "tri-d" from Anne McCaffrey's "Crystal Singer".
Mike Christie submitted a 1964 cite for the form "tri-D" from Frank Herbert's "Dune World".
Mike Christie submitted a 1954 cite for the form "tri-D" from Frederik Pohl's "The Midas Plague".
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite for the form "TRI-D" from a reprint of Anne McCaffrey's "To Ride Pegasus"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1973 first edition, and also located a cite for the form "Tri-D" from the 1973 first magazine appearance.
Cory Panshin submitted a cite for the form "tri-D" from a reprint of Damon Knight's "Don't Live in the Past"; Mike Christie verified the 1951 original appearance.
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite for the form "Tri-D" from a 1992 reprint of Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye's 1990 "The Death of Sleep".
Malcom Farmer submitted a cite for the form "Tri-D" from a reprint of Keith Laumer's "Prototaph"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1966 original magazine appearance.
The OED has a 1955 cite from Frederik Pohl for "tri-di".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite for "tri-di" from a reprint of James White's "Trouble With Emily"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1958 original magazine appearance.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite for "tri-di" from an article by Pat Jones in Startling Stories.
Mike Christie submitted a 1964 cite for "tri-di" from Harry Harrison's "The Starsloggers".
Enoch Forrester submitted a cite for "tri-di" from a reprint of James Blish's "Earthman, Come Home"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the original 1950 magazine appearance.
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite for "tridi" from a reprint of James Tiptree's "Parimutuel Planet"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1969 first magazine appearance.
Dan Tilque submitted a cite for "tridi" from a reprint of Philip Jose Farmer's "A Few Miles"; Mike Christie verified it in the 1960 magazine appearance.
Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1966 cite for "tridi" from Kenneth Bulmer's "Draft Dodger".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1966 cite for "tridi" from Fred Saberhagen's "Mr. Jester".
Mike Christie submitted a 1947 cite from Lewis Padgett's "Tomorrow and Tomorrow", but it appears to be an abbreviation for "three-dimensional" rather than a reference to a broadcasting system analogous to TV. We would still like to antedate 1950.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2011 cite from China Miéville's "Embassytown".

Last modified 2021-08-18 11:45:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.