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 (trī-lĭth′ŏn, trī′lĭ-thŏn′) also tri·lith (trī′lĭth)
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.]


(traɪˈlɪθɒn; ˈtraɪlɪˌθɒn) or


(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


A prehistoric structure consisting of two large upright stones supporting a third horizontal stone.
References in classic literature ?
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.
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.
Stonehenge consists of a ring of stone structures surrounding five trilithons in a horseshoe shape (trilithons are stone structures consisting of two vertical stones capped by a horizontal stone).
Picture: Peter Bolter As a child, I would picnic with my parents on a fallen bluestone at Stonehenge: in those days the henge was not cordoned off and anyone could wander round the great trilithons.
The stone-dressing work on the monument's great circle (both uprights and lintels) was accomplished by working parallel to the long sides of the stones, while the five stone 'trilithons' (the great horse-shoe arrangement of linteled stones) within the great circle were dressed by working at right-angles to the sides of the stones.
Though many readers may be unaware that modest or midsized dolmens sharing this shape and dating from the Neolithic Period still dot the British and French countrysides, the reference to pi readily conjures an image of the monumental trilithons of Stonehenge, the best-known Stone-Age Celtic site of the world.
The albumen print (above) titled Trilithons B and C from the south-west, Stonehenge was taken by a nameless Ordnance Survey photographer, c.1867.