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Orpheus

[awr-fee-uh s, -fyoos] /ˈɔr fi əs, -fyus/
noun
1.
Greek Legend. a poet and musician, a son of Calliope, who followed his dead wife, Eurydice, to the underworld. By charming Hades, he obtained permission to lead her away, provided he did not look back at her until they returned to earth. But at the last moment he looked, and she was lost to him forever.
2.
(italics) a ballet (1947) with music by Stravinsky and choreography by Balanchine.
Related forms
Orphean
[awr-fee-uh n, awr-fee-uh n] /ɔrˈfi ən, ˈɔr fi ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Orpheus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Orpheus went into the woods one day and took nothing but his harp with him.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • Then Orpheus began to play, and the hardest rocks were stirred.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • The very rocks answered the voice of Orpheus, and everything was at peace.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • Sometimes, even in these days, it seems as if Orpheus were singing again.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • Old books tell us that Orpheus was really the south wind itself.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
British Dictionary definitions for Orpheus

Orpheus

/ˈɔːfɪəs; -fjuːs/
noun
1.
(Greek myth) a poet and lyre-player credited with the authorship of the poems forming the basis of Orphism. He married Eurydice and sought her in Hades after her death. He failed to win her back and was killed by a band of bacchantes
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
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