[ kawr-uh-fee-uhs, kor- ]

noun,plural cor·y·phae·i [kawr-uh-fee-ahy, kor-]. /ˌkɔr əˈfi aɪ, ˌkɒr-/.
  1. the leader of the chorus in the ancient Greek drama.

  2. the leader of an operatic chorus or any group of singers.

Origin of coryphaeus

1625–35; <Latin <Greek koryphaîos leading, equivalent to koryph() head, top + -aîos noun suffix

Words Nearby coryphaeus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use coryphaeus in a sentence

  • Mrs. Smith threw in her sentiments between the acts, as coryphaeus of the tragedy, to make the description complete.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes | Thomas Hardy

British Dictionary definitions for coryphaeus


/ (ˌkɒrɪˈfiːəs) /

nounplural -phaei (-ˈfiːaɪ)
  1. (in ancient Greek drama) the leader of the chorus

  2. archaic, or literary a leader of a group

Origin of coryphaeus

C17: from Latin, from Greek koruphaios leader, from koruphē summit

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