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

Metin Hara is a teacher in personal development and self-help and the founder of the Trusthuman academy in Istanbul, as well as the author of the best-selling book The Path, the first in his Invasion of Love trilogy. Metin Hara, Vogue, "How to Be Thankful (Even When It Feels Like the Rest of the World Is Going Crazy)," 22 Nov. 2018 Saidi began writing the second part of the trilogy after a gunman claiming allegiance to ISIS besieged a kosher supermarket east of Paris in January 2015, killing five people. Time, "A Tale of Three Jihadists Puts the Fight Against Extremism Onstage," 14 June 2018 His plans have been compared to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight trilogy, three movies which follow the same couple across three meetings in different countries, each film separated by roughly a decade. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, "Call Me By Your Name," 17 Oct. 2018 The first in a trilogy of books, it’ll be released July 3. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Cottons: The Secret of The Wind' Trailer Shows a World Ruled by Animals," 27 June 2018 Bad Witch is the final installment in a trilogy of politically minded EPs, scheduled for release on June 22. Sofia Mele, Billboard, "Nine Inch Nails' Trent Renzor Calls Out Donald Trump, Artists Who Don't Address Politics & Kanye West in New Interviews," 21 June 2018 Meanwhile, Kylo — as in Kylo Ren, the brooding Star Wars villain played by Adam Driver in the new film trilogy — was second on the list of names declining in popularity, behind only Riaan on that chart. Jeff Weiner,, "Popular baby names for 2017: Melania rising, Kylo falling — Liam, Emma top annual list," 11 May 2018 Although the movie was originally envisioned as the first installment of a trilogy, plans for subsequent films were abandoned. Charles Stockdale And John Harrington, USA TODAY, "The 24 most forgettable superheroes in movies," 5 July 2018 That period has slowly been replaced with a new series of works, such as Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy (set a year after Return of the Jedi) and Delilah S. Dawson’s Phasma (set 26 years after Return of the Jedi). Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The show will take place seven years after Return of the Jedi," 11 May 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

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trilogy

The first known use of trilogy was circa 1661

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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

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to enclose within walls

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