triptych

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noun trip·tych \ˈtrip-(ˌ)tik\

Definition of triptych

  1. 1a :  a picture (such as an altarpiece) or carving in three panels side by sideb :  something composed or presented in three parts or sections; especially :  trilogy

  2. 2 :  an ancient Roman writing tablet with three waxed leaves hinged together

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Recent Examples of triptych from the Web

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

triptych Has Greek Roots

A painted or carved triptych typically has three hinged panels, and the two outer panels can be folded in towards the central one. A literary or musical triptych generally consists of three closely related or contrasting themes or parts. Triptych derives from the Greek triptychos ("having three folds"), formed by combining tri- ("three") and ptychē ("fold" or "layer"). Although triptych originally described a specific type of Roman writing tablet that had three hinged sections, it is not surprising that the idea was generalized first to a type of painting, and then to anything composed of three parts.

Origin and Etymology of triptych

Greek triptychos having three folds, from tri- + ptychē fold


TRIPTYCH Defined for English Language Learners

triptych

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noun

Definition of triptych for English Language Learners

  • : a picture (such as a painting) that has three panels placed next to each other


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