tril·o·gy | \ˈtri-lə-jē \
plural trilogies

Definition of trilogy 

: 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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Did You Know?

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

This second part in the playwright's Aran Islands trilogy — sandwiched between The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Banshees of Inisheer — is a brutally ebullient farce that gleefully features several gory onstage murders. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Lieutenant of Inishmore': Theater Review," 5 July 2018 The state’s thriving, algal, creeping spirit is home to writers like Jeff VanderMeer, whose Southern Reach trilogy depicts an alien landscape of terrifying beauty and metamorphosis. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Florida, Full of Dread," 14 June 2018 Nobody’s lovingly plastic-sleeved laserdiscs of the pre-special edition trilogy melted when The Last Jedi came out. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Star Wars and the Battle of the Ever-More Toxic Fan Culture," 6 June 2018 The single leads the finale of the act's 'The Story of Light' album trilogy, which also features a song that includes Jonghyun's vocals. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "SHINee Releases Emotional 'Our Page' Music Video, Dedicated to Jonghyun: Watch," 25 June 2018 Steven Soderbergh, who directed the Ocean’s trilogy, is a producer, along with Clooney and Susan Ekins. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Everything We Know About the Met Gala Movie Ocean’s 8," 7 May 2018 Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star in the steamy ending to the trilogy (in theaters Feb. 9). Anika Reed, Detroit Free Press, "10 books to read before they become movies in 2018," 5 Jan. 2018 Oryx and Crake is the first of a trilogy, followed by the equally excellent The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam. Peggy Truong, Cosmopolitan, "12 Dystopian Books You Should Read if You Like The Handmaid’s Tale," 20 Apr. 2017 Get the book Red Sparrow (Movie, March 2) Based on the first novel in a trilogy by Jason Matthews, this thriller stars Jennifer Lawrence as a ballerina turned Russian spy, who is tasked with targeting a CIA officer. Sarah Begley, Time, "26 Books That Are Being Made Into Movies and TV Shows in 2018," 12 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trilogy.' 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 trilogy

circa 1661, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trilogy

Greek trilogia, from tri- + -logia -logy

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Statistics for trilogy

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trilogy

The first known use of trilogy was circa 1661

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More Definitions for trilogy



English Language Learners Definition of trilogy

: a series of three novels, movies, etc., that are closely related and involve the same characters or themes

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More from Merriam-Webster on trilogy

Spanish Central: Translation of trilogy

Nglish: Translation of trilogy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trilogy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about trilogy

Comments on trilogy

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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