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

The Twelve followed two years later, and the last book of the trilogy, The City of Mirrors, hit shelves in 2016. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Here’s How to Watch ‘The Passage,’ the New Fox Show Everyone’s Talking About," 21 Jan. 2019 All three books in Larsson’s trilogy were adapted for the screen in his native Sweden, with Noomi Rapace as the series’s breakout character, Lisbeth. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The Verge fall movie preview, November 2018," 6 Sep. 2018 If only Han, Chewie, and Lando Calrissian make it into the original Star Wars trilogy, and these new folks don’t get a mention, caring about their fates is an uphill battle. Josh Spiegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Toughest Thing the Han Solo Movie Must Do," 9 Apr. 2018 Amazon just spent $250 million on a single show, a series based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, "TV bigshots meet on Miami Beach for frenzy of deals," 17 Jan. 2018 Paramount Pictures Alex Garland wrote and directed this adaptation of the first novel in Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. Sarah Begley, Time, "26 Books That Are Being Made Into Movies and TV Shows in 2018," 12 Jan. 2018 Netflix subscribers can also expect to see the Jurassic Park trilogy on the streaming service starting July 1. Jillian Forstadt, The Hollywood Reporter, "Netflix's New Releases Coming in July 2018," 27 June 2018 The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a murky, conventional thriller The plot of The Girl in the Spider’s Web has to do with Lisbeth’s sister Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks), who went essentially unmentioned in Larsson’s original trilogy. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Lisbeth Salander returns in the limp, faux-feminist The Girl in the Spider’s Web," 9 Nov. 2018 The third segment of the Father Christmas trilogy is set in Vermont on screen, but the real-life location is a bit further north—in Abbotsford, Canada, according to I've Scene It on Hallmark. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Hallmark's 'Marrying Father Christmas' Was Filmed at the Most Gorgeous Estate in Canada," 7 Nov. 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

8 Feb 2019

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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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).


to deny responsibility for

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