- an ancient writing tablet made up of a hinged pair of wooden or ivory pieces folding to protect the inner waxed writing surfaces
- a picture painted or carved on two hinged tablets
- anything consisting of two parallel or contrasting parts
Origin of diptychLate Latin diptycha, writing tablet of two leaves from Gr, neuter plural of diptychos, folded from di-, twice + ptych?, a fold from ptyssein, to fold
- a. A work consisting of two painted or carved panels that are hinged together.b. A set of two related works, as in photography, painting, or literature.
- An ancient writing tablet having two leaves hinged together.
- A list of names, originally contained on such a tablet, of living and dead Christians for whom special prayers are made during the liturgy in many eastern and western churches.
Origin of diptychLate Latin diptycha from Greek diptukha from neuter pl. of diptukhos folded double di- two ; see di- 1. ptukhē fold ( from ptussein ptukh- to fold )
portraits of René of Anjou
(1409-1480) and his second
wife, Jeanne of Laval (1433-
1498), by Nicolas Froment
- A writing tablet consisting of two leaves of rigid material connected by hinges and shutting together so as to protect the writing within.
- (art) A picture or series of pictures painted on two tablets, usually connected by hinges.
- A double catalogue, containing in one part the names of living, and in the other of deceased, ecclesiastics and benefactors of the church.
- A catalogue of saints.
- Artistically-wrought tablets distributed by consuls, etc. of the later Roman Empire to commemorate their tenure of office; hence transferred to a list of magistrates
- a. a literary work consisting of two contrasting parts (as a narrative telling the same story from two opposing points of view) "a diptych, a pastoral in which the author narrates the birth of Christ ... first as it has impressed the rich countryman Asveer, then as it has been seen by the skeptic Nicodemus" -- François Closset b. any work made up of two matching parts treating complementary or contrasting pictorial phases of one general topic "the first volume of a diptych Vegetation and Flora of the Sonoran Desert" -- F.E. Egler
From Late Latin diptycha, plural, from Ancient Greek, neuter plural of δίπτυχος (diptychos, “folded, doubled”), from δι (di) + -πτυχος (-ptychos) (akin to Greek πτυχή (ptychí, “fold, layer”)).