po·​lyp·​tych | \ ˈpä-ləp-ˌtik How to pronounce polyptych (audio) , pə-ˈlip-tik How to pronounce polyptych (audio) \

Definition of polyptych

: an arrangement of four or more panels (as of a painting) usually hinged and folding together

Examples of polyptych in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The altarpiece is a mind-blowing polyptych (a many-paneled painting on hinges) that was designed to help people in a medieval hospital endure horrible skin diseases long before the age of painkillers. Rick Steves' Europe, The Seattle Times, "Alsace blends the best of France and Germany," 18 July 2017 Her most famous work is Tribute to the American Working People, a five-paneled polyptych of a factory worker surrounded by scenes of ordinary people. Chloe Fein, The Cut, "Honoré Sharrer’s Surreal Portraits of Women and Working America," 29 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polyptych.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of polyptych

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polyptych

Greek polyptychos having many folds, from poly- + ptychē fold, from ptyssein to fold

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Time Traveler for polyptych

The first known use of polyptych was in 1859

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More from Merriam-Webster on polyptych

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with polyptych

Nglish: Translation of polyptych for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polyptych

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What made you want to look up polyptych? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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