dip·​tych ˈdip-(ˌ)tik How to pronounce diptych (audio)
: a 2-leaved hinged tablet folding together to protect writing on its waxed surfaces
: a picture or series of pictures (such as an altarpiece) painted or carved on two hinged tablets
: a work made up of two matching parts

Illustration of diptych

Illustration of diptych
  • diptych 2

Examples of diptych in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The diptych remains fascinating to art historians to this day. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 19 Oct. 2023 In another diptych, Dosunmu pairs two women, one from the village of Pokot, Kenya, and the other from Salima, Ecuador. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 12 Dec. 2023 Only two other works from the diptych are currently accounted for. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Nov. 2023 The painting is part of a diptych, which included eight scenes depicting the crucifixion and passion of Christ. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Nov. 2023 Enlarge / Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels, right panel of the diptych. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 19 Oct. 2023 The 10-by-8-inch work is part of a diptych made up of eight scenes centered on the passion and crucifixion of Christ. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 17 Nov. 2023 By 1775, the Collegiate Church was in dire need of funds for a restoration and sold the diptych, breaking it apart. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 19 Oct. 2023 Also on view is a diptych from Nina Katchadourian’s series Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'diptych.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin diptycha, plural, from Greek, from neuter plural of diptychos folded in two, from di- + ptychē fold

First Known Use

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of diptych was in 1622

Dictionary Entries Near diptych

Cite this Entry

“Diptych.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diptych. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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