po·​lyp·​tych ˈpä-ləp-ˌtik How to pronounce polyptych (audio) pə-ˈlip-tik How to pronounce polyptych (audio)
: an arrangement of four or more panels (as of a painting) usually hinged and folding together

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This intense, imaginative polyptych—lauded by innumerable textbooks—ranks high among the most affecting artworks in all of art history. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, 17 Mar. 2023 The Ghent Altarpiece—aka the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb—is a 15th-century polyptych attributed to brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 29 July 2020 The Ghent altarpiece—aka the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb—is a 15th-century polyptych attributed to brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck, displayed in the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Belgium. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Dec. 2019 Titled Christ Mocked, the piece is believed to be part of a polyptych (a painting that consists of three or more panels) created in 1280, depicting Christ’s crucifixion. Hannah Chubb, PEOPLE.com, 29 Oct. 2019 So after dipping into Sint-Baafskathedraal to see the famous 15th-century polyptych Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, bump across the cobblestones and turn down onto Graslei quay. National Geographic, 14 Nov. 2019 According to the news outlet, two other pieces from the polyptych series can be found at art museums across the world — one at London’s National Gallery, and one at the Frick Collection in New York. Hannah Chubb, PEOPLE.com, 29 Oct. 2019 Two other paintings from the polyptych can be seen at both London's National Gallery, and the Frick Collection in New York. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, 28 Oct. 2019 Based on their assessment, the researchers suggest the panel belongs to a polyptych created by the Old Master around 1280. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, 25 Sep. 2019 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polyptych was in 1859

Dictionary Entries Near polyptych

Cite this Entry

“Polyptych.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polyptych. Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

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