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Triannual vs. Triennial — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 7, 2023
Triannual means occurring three times a year, while Triennial means occurring once every three years.
Triannual vs. Triennial — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Triannual and Triennial


Key Differences

Triannual events occur more frequently than triennial events, three times annually versus once every three years. A triannual event might be a meeting that happens every four months, while a triennial event could be a festival that occurs every thirty-six months.
A triannual publication, such as a journal, would release three issues within a year, whereas a triennial publication would issue once in three years. These temporal distinctions are crucial in contexts where precise scheduling is essential, such as academic conferences or financial reporting.
Financial reports may be conducted on a triannual basis for companies with dynamic performance shifts, while a triennial report might suit a stable trust fund with long-term investments. A triannual occurrence is thus more aligned with short-term assessments, whereas a triennial occurrence fits long-term evaluations.
Scholarly projects may require triannual updates due to the rapidly evolving nature of research, whereas commemorative events, which celebrate milestones, are more suited to a triennial schedule. The choice between triannual and triennial scheduling can reflect the anticipated changes within the given timeframe.
Seasonal sales in retail can be triannual, aligned with fashion seasons, while certain agricultural subsidies might be reviewed on a triennial basis, reflecting the longer cycles of planning and harvesting. This illustrates how each term serves specific time-sensitive needs across different industries.

Comparison Chart


Three times per year
Once every three years

Context Usage

Often for reports, meetings, and publications
For events, anniversaries, and assessments


Quarterly or four-month intervals
Every 36 months

Planning Horizon

Suitable for short-term plans
Suitable for long-term plans

Industry Example

Fashion seasons, academic updates
Agricultural planning, festivals

Compare with Definitions


Published thrice yearly
The journal's triannual edition featured the latest research.


Happening once every three years
The triennial conference was postponed due to budget cuts.


Every four months
Employees receive triannual performance reviews.


Occurring thrice per decade
The town's triennial festival commemorates its founding.


Three times annually
The triannual budget report was released in April.


Recurring triennially
A triennial art exhibition celebrates regional artists.


Periodic, within a year
The committee convenes triannual strategic sessions.


Every third year
The garden club's triennial plant sale is a community highlight.


Occurring three times a year
The company holds triannual staff meetings.


A three-year interval
The organization conducts a triennial assessment of its programs.


Happening three times each year.


Occurring every third year.


Lasting three years.


A third anniversary.


A ceremony or celebration occurring every three years.


Happening every three years.
Triennial elections


Lasting for three years.
Triennial parliaments; a triennial reign


A third anniversary.


A plant that requires three years to complete its life-cycle.


Continuing three years; as, triennial parliaments; a triennial reign.


Happening, coming about, or appearing once in every three years; as, triennial elections; a triennial catalogue; a triennial visitation.


Something which takes place or appears once in three years.


The 300th anniversary (or the celebration of it)


Occurring every third year or lasting 3 years

Common Curiosities

Can triannual refer to events not strictly tied to a calendar year?

Yes, triannual events can occur within any twelve-month period, not just a calendar year.

Are triennial events less common than triannual ones?

Triennial events are less frequent by nature, so they may be less common than triannual occurrences.

Does triannual mean three times a year?

Yes, triannual refers to something happening three times within a single year.

What does triennial mean?

Triennial means occurring once every three years.

Are there any triannual holidays?

Traditional holidays are annual, not triannual, though some events may occur triannually.

Is a triannual event the same as a quarterly event?

No, triannual is three times a year, while quarterly is four times a year.

Could a company's fiscal report be triennial?

Typically, fiscal reports are annual or triannual, not triennial, due to the need for more frequent financial oversight.

Can an organization hold both triannual and triennial events?

Yes, an organization can schedule both triannual and triennial events for different purposes.

How do you pronounce triannual and triennial?

Triannual is pronounced try-AN-yoo-uhl, and triennial is pronounced try-EN-ee-uhl.

Does triennial imply a longer commitment than triannual?

Yes, triennial implies a commitment stretched over three years, while triannual is within one year.

Do triennial events require more planning?

Triennial events might require more long-term planning due to their infrequency.

Can a journal be both triannual and triennial?

No, a journal cannot be both; it must adhere to one of the two schedules.

Is there a specific symbol or term that denotes triannual events?

No, there isn't a specific symbol; the term "triannual" itself is used.

Can a sports tournament be triennial?

Yes, some sports tournaments or competitions are held on a triennial basis.

Could a lease agreement be triennial?

Yes, lease agreements can be triennial, setting terms for every three years.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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