trilithon


Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

tri·lith·on

 (trī-lĭth′ŏn, trī′lĭ-thŏn′) also tri·lith (trī′lĭth)
n.
A prehistoric structure consisting of two large stones set upright to support a third on their tops, found especially in Europe.

[Greek, neuter of trilithos, having three stones : tri-, tri- + lithos, stone.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

trilithon

(traɪˈlɪθɒn; ˈtraɪlɪˌθɒn) or

trilith

n
(Archaeology) a structure consisting of two upright stones with a third placed across the top, such as those of Stonehenge
[C18: from Greek; see tri-, -lith]
trilithic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

trilithon

A prehistoric structure consisting of two large upright stones supporting a third horizontal stone.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
References in classic literature ?
The next pillar was isolated; others composed a trilithon; others were prostrate, their flanks forming a causeway wide enough for a carriage and it was soon obvious that they made up a forest of monoliths grouped upon the grassy expanse of the plain.
Turning, he saw over the prostrate columns another figure; then before he was aware, another was at hand on the right, under a trilithon, and another on the left.
The uniform concavity of black cloud was lifting bodily like the lid of a pot, letting in at the earth's edge the coming day, against which the towering monoliths and trilithons began to be blackly defined.
In 1958, archaeologists raised an entire fallen trilithon -- one of the iconic structures consisting of two vertical stones with a third across the top.
This is seen most spectacularly today in what archaeologists call the Sarsen Circle and Trilithon Horseshoe -- the big standing stone elements which were constructed so that the sun could be seen to rise and set between the stones on those particular days."
At Stonehenge itself, the principal axis appears to be in the opposite direction to midsummer sunrise, towards midsummer sunset, framed by the monument's largest stone setting, the great trilithon," Professor Parker Pearson said
Vignettes that stay in the memory include Stukeley and Lord Winchelsea dining on top of a trilithon, and the 19th-century Danish archaeologist who liked to be accompanied by a brass band while at work.
Unique monumental structures are the O le fale o le fe'e (the house of the octopus) in Samoa, described by Macmillan Brown (1907) as an ellipse-shaped structure of massive stone columns for the worship of the war god Fe'e (Freeman 1944:121), and the Ha'amonga-'a-Maui trilithon in Tonga, said to have been built by the 11th Tui Tonga, Tuitatui (McKem 1929).
(1) Northrop Frye argues that Blake's opening image suggests a Druidic trilithon, which "represents a geometrical or abstract form of the perversion of the three classes" that Blake identifies in Milton and thus symbolizes fallen aesthetics: the "Sublime & Pathos" are "uprights" with "the fallen reason coveting them." (2) Similarly, David Baulch sees this as "an image of the divided aesthetic," and he notes how it "resonates with Blake's description of ...
The ancient remains of the Haamonga trilithon enabled the early people to identify the seasons.
A trilithon is a structure consisting of two large vertical stones supporting a third set horizontally across the top.