Etymology 1Edit

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tribble ‎(plural tribbles)

  1. A horizontal frame with wires stretched across it for drying paper.

Etymology 2Edit

Probably invented for alliteration with trouble; the creatures first appeared in an episode called The Trouble with Tribbles.


tribble ‎(plural tribbles)

  1. A fictional alien creature in Star Trek, a fast-breeding, cooing ball of fur.
    • 1998, William A. Sethares, Tuning, Timbre, Spectrum, Scale, page 49:
      Scales have proliferated like tribbles in quadra-triticale: just intonations, equal temperaments, scales based on overtones, scales generated from a single interval or pair of intervals, scales without octaves, scales arising from arcane mathematical formulas, scales that reflect cosmological or religious structures, scales that "come from the heart."
    • 2008, Robin C. Whittaker (editor), Hot Thespian Action!, page 569:
      The Hyper-Producing Playwrights of Edmondton: Or Why Alberta’s Capital Breeds New Plays Like Tribbles.
    • 2010, Dakota Cassidy, Accidentally Demonic, Chapter 19:
      They were like tribbles, multiplying by the dozens, cackling, giggling their maniacal joy at the game.
    • 2015, Zanzibar 7. Schwarzenegger, Veneri Verbum, page 19:
      They breed like tribbles, but at least they’re not terrestrial.
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