1. a hinged two-leaved tablet used in ancient times for writing on with a stylus.
  2. Usually diptychs.
    1. 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.
    2. the lists of such persons.
    3. the intercession in the course of which these names were introduced.
  3. a pair of pictures or carvings on two panels, usually hinged together.


  1. a pair of hinged wooden tablets with waxed surfaces for writing
  2. a painting or carving on two panels, usually hinged like a book

1620s, from Latin diptycha (plural), from late Greek diptykha, neuter plural of diptykhos “double-folded, doubled,” from dis- “two” + ptykhe “fold.”

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