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[sip-ree-uh n]
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  1. SaintThascius Caecillus Cyprianus, a.d. c200–258, early church father, bishop, and martyr.


[sip-ree-uh n]
  1. noting or pertaining to the worship of Aphrodite or to conduct inspired by Aphrodite.
  2. lewd; licentious.
  3. Cypriot(def 3).
  1. a person from Cyprus or the language spoken there.
  2. a lewd or licentious person, especially a prostitute.
  3. the Cyprian, Aphrodite: so called because her cult was centered on Cyprus.

Origin of Cyprian2

1590–1600; < Latin Cypri(us) of Cyprus (< Greek Kýprios, derivative of Kýpros Cyprus) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cyprian

Historical Examples

  • Cyprian's care not only extended over Carthage, but to Numidia and Mauritania.

    Fox's Book of Martyrs

    John Foxe

  • On the right we see the images of Cornelius and Cyprian, bishop of Carthage.

    Pagan and Christian Rome

    Rodolfo Lanciani

  • Nor did Cyprian think them propitious when taken into counsel.

    Mary Gray

    Katharine Tynan

  • This is one possible view of Cyprian's character and purposes.

    Theodoric the Goth

    Thomas Hodgkin

  • His accuser, Cyprian, still apparently a young man, was also a Roman nobleman.

    Theodoric the Goth

    Thomas Hodgkin

British Dictionary definitions for cyprian


  1. of or relating to Cyprus
  2. of or resembling the ancient orgiastic worship of Aphrodite on Cyprus
  1. (often not capital) obsolete a licentious person, esp a prostitute or dancer
noun, adjective
  1. another word for Cypriot


  1. Saint. ?200–258 ad, bishop of Carthage and martyr. Feast day: Sept 26 or 16
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cyprian



1620s, "of Cyprus," from Latin Cyprianus, from Cyprius, from Greek Kyprios (see Cyprus). The island was famous in ancient times as the birthplace of Aphrodite and for erotic worship rituals offered to her there; hence Cyprian meant "licentious, lewd," the earliest attested sense in English (1590s) and was applied 18c.-19c. to prostitutes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper