te·​tral·​o·​gy | \te-ˈträ-lə-jē, -ˈtra- \
plural tetralogies

Definition of tetralogy 

1 : a series of four connected works (such as operas or novels)

2 : a group of four dramatic pieces presented consecutively on the Attic stage at the Dionysiac festival

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Did You Know?

The original tetralogies were sets of four plays (three tragedies and a comedy) performed serially on the Athenian stages of ancient Greece. These sets of plays were similar to the "trilogy," a group of three serial Greek tragedies. The word tetralogy is from the Greek combining form tetra-, meaning "four," joined with the combining form "-logia," which in turn comes from logos, meaning "word." Other "tetra-" words include "tetrahedron" (a solid shape formed by four flat faces) and "tetrapod" (a vertebrate with two pairs of limbs).

Examples of tetralogy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Also in celebration of her perpetually relevant legacy, the fashion house is releasing a tetralogy of four short films, over the course of this year, that document Chanel's life . Whitney Robinson, Town & Country, "Was Coco Chanel a Feminist?," 22 Feb. 2017 Wagner’s massive operatic tetralogy based on Nordic myths, returns to the San Francisco Opera on June 12 for three full go-rounds. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bingeing on ‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘The Wire’? Wagner’s ‘Ring’ paved the way," 30 May 2018 Didn’t Want to Get Too Close’ to Son Billy at First Kimmel and his wife revealed that their son underwent two heart surgeries after he was born with a congenital heart condition, tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. Mike Miller, PEOPLE.com, "Justin Theroux Avoids Running Into Ex Jennifer Aniston at Jimmy Kimmel's Son's Birthday Bash," 23 Apr. 2018 Look no further than another famous tetralogy of Fallot patient, Olympic snowboarder Shaun White. Tom Avril, Philly.com, "Infant heart surgery is just the start of lifelong issues. Doctors are developing new ways to cope," 9 Mar. 2018 The Jimmy Kimmel Live host’s son was born with a congenital heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. Jessica Derschowitz, EW.com, "Jimmy Kimmel wishes son Billy a happy 1st birthday in sweet Instagram post," 21 Apr. 2018 She, like Mac and Billy Kimmel, was born with tetralogy of Fallot. Tom Avril, Philly.com, "Infant heart surgery is just the start of lifelong issues. Doctors are developing new ways to cope," 9 Mar. 2018 Max was born with tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart condition that causes oxygen-poor blood to leave the heart and flow through the rest of the body. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Mini-Darth Vader Made Famous in Iconic Super Bowl Ad to Have His 13th Heart Surgery," 2 Feb. 2018 Mac was born with a cluster of heart abnormalities called tetralogy of Fallot, the same condition that was diagnosed last year in the infant son of talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Tom Avril, Philly.com, "Infant heart surgery is just the start of lifelong issues. Doctors are developing new ways to cope," 9 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of tetralogy

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for tetralogy

Greek tetralogia, from tetra- + -logia -logy

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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The first known use of tetralogy was in 1656

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