- a hinged two-leaved tablet used in ancient times for writing on with a stylus.
- Usually diptychs.
- a similar tablet of wood or metal containing on one leaf the names of those among the living, and on the other those among the dead, for whom prayers and Masses are said.
- the lists of such persons.
- the intercession in the course of which these names were introduced.
- a pair of pictures or carvings on two panels, usually hinged together.
Origin of diptych
1615–25; < Late Latin diptycha writing tablet with two leaves < Greek díptycha, neuter plural of díptychos folded together, equivalent to di- di-1 + -ptychos, verbid of ptýssein to fold
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for diptych
Then he paired the pictures of past and present in diptych form.Hai Bo and China's Photography Boom
January 20, 2011
"Quickening" introduces the second room of the exhibit and features a diptych of pregnant women, their faces also ravaged by time.A Woman in Full
February 18, 2010
A diptych which belongs to the same shrine may also be mentioned.The Industrial Arts in Spain
Juan F. Riao
A codex of two leaves was called a diptych; of three, a triptych, etc.Illuminated Manuscripts
John W. Bradley
After all, a saint of old was glad that his name should be enrolled in the diptych of his Church, and remembered in her prayers.
By various councils it was ordained that the name of the pope should always be inserted in the diptych list.
The names thus written were read from 309 the ambo, in which the diptych was kept.
- a pair of hinged wooden tablets with waxed surfaces for writing
- a painting or carving on two panels, usually hinged like a book
C17: from Greek diptukhos folded together, from di 1 + ptukhos fold; compare triptych
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for diptych
1620s, from Latin diptycha (plural), from late Greek diptykha, neuter plural of diptykhos "double-folded, doubled," from dis- "two" + ptykhe "fold."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper