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.
2. An ancient writing tablet having two leaves hinged together.
3. 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.
[Late Latin diptycha, from Greek diptukha, from neuter pl. of diptukhos, folded double : di-, two; see DI-1 + ptukhē, fold (from ptussein, ptukh-, to fold).]
(click for a larger image)diptych
portraits of René of Anjou
(1409-1480) and his second
wife, Jeanne of Laval (1433-
1498), by Nicolas Froment
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.