tril·​o·​gy ˈtri-lə-jē How to pronounce trilogy (audio)
plural trilogies
: a series of three dramas or literary works or sometimes three musical compositions that are closely related and develop a single theme

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Dozens of tragic trilogies were written for the Greek stage, though only one, Aeschylus's great Oresteia (consisting of Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, *and *The Eumenides), has survived complete. Authors in later years have occasionally chosen to create trilogies to allow themselves to develop a highly complex story or cover a long span of time. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings wasn't actually intended as a trilogy, but since it was published in three volumes it's usually called one. George Lucas's three original Star Wars movies are an example of a film trilogy (which he followed many years later by another).

Examples of trilogy in a Sentence

the last book in the trilogy
Recent Examples on the Web Thompson, 58, a consultant for Texas Christian University’s William L. Adams Center for Writing, is the author of two historical novels about Reeves in what will become a trilogy. Tommy Cummings, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2023 Nas is releasing the final album of his trilogy with Hit-Boy this Friday, which also happens to be his 50th birthday, while L.A. rapper Maxo has a new album on the way. Spin Staff, Spin, 13 Sep. 2023 What should have been an inspirational capper on a trilogy ends with a shrug of resignation. Courtney Howard, Variety, 7 Sep. 2023 The trilogy is based on a 1980s TV show with the same name, for which actor Edward Woodward won a Golden Globe in 1987. Arturo Conde, NBC News, 1 Sep. 2023 Believer is the first of a planned trilogy, as well as a sequel to the original Exorcist, with Ellen Burstyn returning as Chris MacNeil to help the families of two daughters who have apparently been possessed. Even Demons Fear Taylor Swift, Vulture, 31 Aug. 2023 Those sections are what makes this Equalizer 3 the de facto highlight of the trilogy, even if calling this a great movie is stretching it. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 30 Aug. 2023 Billed as the final film in a trilogy, The Equalizer 3 finds Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) moving to Italy to start a new life and put acts of vengeance behind him. Keith Phipps, Rolling Stone, 5 Sep. 2023 Halloween trilogy director David Gordon Green is behind the new film, the first in a planned trilogy of Exorcist features. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trilogy.' 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 trilogia, from tri- + -logia -logy

First Known Use

circa 1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trilogy was circa 1661

Dictionary Entries Near trilogy

Cite this Entry

“Trilogy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


tril·​o·​gy ˈtril-ə-jē How to pronounce trilogy (audio)
plural trilogies
: a series of three literary, dramatic, or musical works that are closely related and develop a single theme
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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