[ kawr-uh-fee-uh s, kor- ]
/ ˌkɔr əˈfi əs, ˌkɒr- /

noun, plural cor·y·phae·i [kawr-uh-fee-ahy, kor-] /ˌkɔr əˈfi aɪ, ˌkɒr-/.

the leader of the chorus in the ancient Greek drama.
the leader of an operatic chorus or any group of singers.

Origin of coryphaeus

1625–35; < Latin < Greek koryphaîos leading, equivalent to koryph(ḗ) head, top + -aîos noun suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coryphaeus

  • 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) /

noun plural -phaei (-ˈfiːaɪ)

(in ancient Greek drama) the leader of the chorus
archaic, or literary a leader of a group

Word Origin for 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