Definition of triptych in English:


Line breaks: trip|tych
Pronunciation: /ˈtrɪptɪk


  • 1A picture or relief carving on three panels, typically hinged together vertically and used as an altarpiece: a triptych depicting the Crucifixion
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    • The central panel of this intact triptych altarpiece depicts the Mystic Marriage of St Catherine, together with other saints, flanked by donors.
    • This willful perversion of the prevailing practices of late medieval spiritual devotions is reinforced by Bosch's use of the very form traditionally devoted to altarpieces: the triptych.
    • In the first version of the centre panel of the triptych, Bacon incorporated an unsettling, confrontational figure that peered back imperiously at the viewer through schematic binoculars.
  • 1.1A set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together: a triptych on the theme of the holocaust his triptych of one-act operas is unfairly neglected
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    • The Third Symphony from 1950 is a musical triptych on the Life of Christ.
    • Maazel has previously written a pleasant violin concerto and an orchestral triptych.
    • By no means am I insisting that these three paintings literally constitute a triptych, religious or otherwise.


mid 18th century (denoting a set of three writing tablets hinged or tied together): from tri- 'three', on the pattern of diptych.

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