triptych

[trip-tik]
noun
1.
Fine Arts. a set of three panels or compartments side by side, bearing pictures, carvings, or the like.
2.
a hinged, three-leaved tablet, written on, in ancient times, with a stylus.

Origin:
1725–35; < Greek tríptychos of three plates, equivalent to tri- tri- + ptych- (stem of ptýx) plate + -os adj. suffix

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World English Dictionary
triptych (ˈtrɪptɪk)
 
n
1.  a set of three pictures or panels, usually hinged so that the two wing panels fold over the larger central one: often used as an altarpiece
2.  a set of three hinged writing tablets
 
[C18: from Greek triptukhos, from tri- + ptux plate; compare diptych]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

triptych
1731, "hinged, three-leaved writing tablet used in ancient Greece and Rome," from Gk. triptykhos "three-layered," from tri- "three" + ptykhos, gen. of ptyx "fold, layer." In ref. to three-part altar-piece carvings or pictures hinged together, it is attested from 1849.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
She had this map in her hands, which was a triptych map from the automobile club.
Intended to form a grand triptych, the three paintings are seen together for the first time in this exhibition.
As a culminating activity, have students create a triptych about what they have learned in this unit.
It is an allegorical, complicated triptych with hundreds of details and with curious unclothed people.
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