Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

circle of hell

Used to describe something or some place one considers to be utterly vile or torturous. It alludes to the misery and anguish experienced in the nine levels of hell as described by Dante Alighieri in his epic poem Inferno. The entire trade negotiation process has devolved into the fifth circle of hell, as politicians and lobbyists flail about in a sea of red tape while trying to gain some advantage over one another. This part of the country becomes the ninth circle of hell in the winter—a barren, frozen wasteland.
See also: circle, hell, of

the third degree

Intense or thorough interrogation, scrutiny, or questioning. Kayla's boyfriend is so controlling, always giving her the third degree if she goes anywhere or sees anyone without him. I got the third degree from the police regarding my whereabouts during the crime.
See also: degree, third

third country

Any country that is not a member of the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), or the European Economic Area (EEA). Did the UK become a third country after Brexit? This is still considered a third country in the eyes of the EU, so you can't just move to Italy for work the way a person from, say, Hungary could.
See also: country, third

third wheel

Someone who has no real place or purpose in a situation, likened to a superfluous extra wheel on a two-wheeled vehicle. When Kelly invited me to go to the movies, I didn't know that her boyfriend would be joining us. I felt like a third wheel the entire night.
See also: third, wheel

third-country national

Commonly abbreviated as "TCN."
1. Someone who is not a national of a country within the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), or the European Economic Area (EEA). If we're from the UK, are we third-country nationals now, in light of Brexit? Unfortunately you're still considered a third-country national in the eyes of the EU, so you can't just move to Italy for work.
2. An employee of an international company or organization who is not from the country where they are working nor from the country where their employer is based. No, I'm actually a third-country national because I'm an Australian working in the UK for an American company.

while two dogs are fighting for a bone, a third one runs away with it

proverb When two people are engaged in trying to obtain the same thing, they are liable to miss the presence of a third party who is then able to take the thing for themselves. A: "Hal and I were fighting over the ball when Mara just came and stole it from us!" B: "Classic. While two dogs are fighting for a bone, a third one runs away with it."
See also: away, dog, fight, for, one, run, third, two, while
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(give somebody) the ˌthird deˈgree

(informal) question somebody for a long time and in a thorough way; use threats or violence to get information from somebody: The soldiers were given the third degree in order to make them reveal the information.Why are you giving me the third degree?This expression comes from Freemasonry (= a secret society). In order to reach the highest level of the organization and become a Third Degree Mason, members are interrogated.
See also: degree, third
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

third wheel

n. an extra person; a person who gets in the way. (see also spare tire.) Well, let’s face it. We don’t need you. You are a third wheel.
See also: third, wheel
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
In no choice feeding trials fixed quantity of 1st instar, 2nd instar, 3rd instar and adult stages cotton mealy bug were offered to Chysoperla instars.
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) were evaluated at the end of the 3rd cycle and at the end of the 6th cycle.
Girls 10 to 12 years - 1st Ella Huckavle, 2nd Nicole Garden, 3rd Hala Abdulrahim.
Seniors Stableford: 1st Alan Brooke 38pts, 2nd Steve Baggaley 35, 3rd Eilian Williams 32.
The Net profit after Zakat is SAR 3,294 thousand for the 3rd quarter compared to a net loss after Zakat SAR 18,364 thousand for the corresponding quarter of previous year and compared to net loss after Zakat SAR 6,141 thousand for the previous quarter 2012.
Allison Wickham, 3rd Female Junior Under 14, Clinton, 46:52
Global yarn stocks rose in the 3rd quarter of 2010 as compared to the previous quarter even though Asia's yarn inventories fell slightly.
The President of the Board of NCB, Abdullah Bahamdan clarified in a statement that the current year's third-quarter profit increased by SR 177 million or 21% compared to the 3rd quarter profit of the previous year.
The Whole Foods at 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue, by Northwest Atlantic Real Estate Services, LLC was presented the award for Most Creative Deal in the Outer Boroughs.
3rd: Anesthesia & Pain Coder's Pink Sheet, Decision-Health, a Division of UCG, "Special Investigative Report: Misleading Coding Advice," by Wendy Vogenitz.
The 172nd was in day seven of a warfighting exercise, using lessons learned from 3rd Bde., 2nd ID, which returned from Iraq in October 2004, to shape its training as it undergoes transformation as the Army's third SBCT.
Deploying the 3rd ACR was a massive task that required weeks of planning and the teamwork to accomplish.
The results of the Merseyside Secondary Schools Cross Country Race (Boys) staged at Wavertree: Under 12, 1st Tim Fraine (SAC), 2nd Mark Winslow (SMA), 3rd Daniel Macniffe (SEC).
FastCap LLC has introduced the 3rd Hand Heavy Duty to complement its line of 3rd Hand support system products.
These and a myriad of other water-related issues were raised at the 3rd World Water Forum, held 16-23 March 2003 in Kyoto, Japan, and attended by 24,000 scientists, activists, and government representatives--who, some say, arrived with radically varying goals in mind.