• WordNet 3.6
    • n diptych a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on two panels (usually hinged like a book)
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Diptych 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.
    • Diptych A picture or series of pictures painted on two tablets connected by hinges. See Triptych.
    • Diptych A writing tablet consisting of two leaves of rigid material connected by hinges and shutting together so as to protect the writing within.
    • Diptych Anything consisting of two leaves.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n diptych A hinged two-leaved tablet of wood, ivory, or metal, with waxed inner surfaces, used by the Greeks and Romans for writing with the style. In Rome, during the empire, consuls and other officials were in the habit of sending as presents to their friends artistic dip-tychs inscribed with their names, date of entering upon office, etc.
    • n diptych In the early church: The tablets on which were written the names of those who were to be especially commemorated at the celebration of the eucharist.
    • n diptych The list of names so recorded.
    • n diptych The intercessions in the course of which these names were introduced. The recitation of the name of any prelate or civil ruler in the diptychs was a recognition of his orthodoxy; its omission, the reverse. The mention of a person after death recognized him as having died in the communion of the church, and the introduction of his name into the list of saints or martyrs constituted canonization. In liturgics the diptychs are distinguished as the diptychs of the living and the diptychs of the dead, the latter including also the commemoration of the saints. In most liturgies the diptychs are included in the great intercession (see intercession). In the Western Church the use of the diptychs died out between the ninth and the twelfth century; in the Eastern Church it still continues. [In the ecclesiastical sense it is always plural with the definite article—the diptychs.]
    • n diptych In art, a pair of pictures or carvings on two panels hinged together. They are common in Byzantine and medieval art, and in the later examples are generally of a religious character. See triptych. [In this sense usually singular.]
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Diptych dip′tik a double-folding writing-tablet: a register of bishops, saints, &c. read aloud during the eucharist: a pair of pictures as folding-tablets.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. diptycha, pl., fr. Gr. folded, doubled; di- = di`s- twice + to fold, double up
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. diptychosdi-, and ptyssein, to fold.


In literature:

The sacred diptychs, of which many are preserved in the Vatican Library, were easily saved from the fury of the Iconoclasts.
"The Ceremonies of the Holy-Week at Rome" by Charles Michael Baggs
Here are ivory bindings, whether as diptychs, or attached to regular volumes.
"A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Two" by Thomas Frognall Dibdin
In the diptych, although the portrait of Richard himself was a likeness, the setting was imaginary and symbolic.
"The Book of Art for Young People" by Agnes Conway
The celebrated Consular Diptychs date from the fourth century onwards.
"Arts and Crafts in the Middle Ages" by Julia De Wolf Addison
The form is conveniently dated at its highest development by its occurrence on the ivory diptych of Stilicho at Monza (c. A.D. 400).
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3" by Various
He met that supreme act of authority by the counter act of removing the Pope's name from the diptychs.
"The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI" by Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies
Vigilius was excommunicated, and his name erased from the diptychs.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 2" by Various
The names thus written were read from the ambo, in which the diptych was kept.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 5" by Various
The diptychs are the prototypes of the modern book.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Slice 2" by Various

In news:

Marecak Diptych Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.
Diptych detail from "Pink Triangle" by Rebecca Webb.
Three imposing diptychs completed in 2004 presided over Sperone Westwater's selective five-decade survey of paintings by Carla Accardi.
Marecak Diptych Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art .
Polly McCaffrey, Cooper's Hawk, 2003, oil, canvas, diptych.
Walking west on 22nd Street, heading toward the Robert Gober show at Matthew Marks Gallery, I caught sight of what looked to be a diptych in the window of the D'Amelio Terras Gallery-two canvases, each depicting a hot-air balloon.