- a child who has lost both parents through death, or, less commonly, one parent.
- a young animal that has been deserted by or has lost its mother.
- a person or thing that is without protective affiliation, sponsorship, etc.: The committee is an orphan of the previous administration.
- (especially in word processing) the first line of a paragraph when it appears alone at the bottom of a page.
- widow(def 3b).
- bereft of parents.
- of or for orphans: an orphan home.
- not authorized, supported, or funded; not part of a system; isolated; abandoned: an orphan research project.
- lacking a commercial sponsor, an employer, etc.: orphan workers.
- to deprive of parents or a parent through death: He was orphaned at the age of four.
- Informal. to deprive of commercial sponsorship, an employer, etc.: The recession has orphaned many experienced workers.
Origin of orphan
Examples from the Web for orphaned
Contemporary Examples of orphaned
She became a schoolteacher, but, as war erupted, began taking in kids abandoned or orphaned by the conflict.Death Metal Angola: Heavy Metal in War-Torn Africa
November 21, 2014
She was particularly moved to help children who have been orphaned and separated from their families.A 26-Year-Old Woman Is ISIS’s Last American Hostage
November 17, 2014
A generation of orphaned, high-heeled girls, looking for a daddy as much as a sugar daddy.Russia’s Gold Digger Academy
November 11, 2014
Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa—and orphaned thousands more.Liberia’s Ebola Orphans
October 14, 2014
The collapse of the Soviet Empire more than 20 years ago left it, for a time, orphaned and forlorn.The French Boss-Nappers’ Last Stand
January 7, 2014
Historical Examples of orphaned
He had been orphaned so young that he could remember no other woman whom he called mother.Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard
That brought to mind that, a week to-night, she would be orphaned of him.Love and Lucy
Maurice Henry Hewlett
For here was his last friend gone, here was he orphaned for ever.Gilian The Dreamer
And she caught the orphaned George Washington to her and hugged him.Mary Rose of Mifflin
Frances R. Sterrett
She saw not the dances of the heedless, but the tears of the motherless and the orphaned.Mary Wollstonecraft
Elizabeth Robins Pennell
- a child, one or (more commonly) both of whose parents are dead
- (as modifier)an orphan child
- printing the first line of a paragraph separated from the rest of the paragraph by occurring at the foot of a page
- (tr) to deprive of one or both parents
Word Origin for orphan
1814, from orphan (n.). Related: Orphaned; orphaning.
c.1300, from Late Latin orphanus "parentless child" (source of Old French orfeno, Italian orfano), from Greek orphanos "orphaned, without parents, fatherless," literally "deprived," from orphos "bereft," from PIE *orbho- "bereft of father," also "deprived of free status," from root *orbh- "to change allegiance, to pass from one status to another" (cf. Hittite harb- "change allegiance," Latin orbus "bereft," Sanskrit arbhah "weak, child," Armenian orb "orphan," Old Irish orbe "heir," Old Church Slavonic rabu "slave," rabota "servitude" (cf. robot), Gothic arbja, German erbe, Old English ierfa "heir," Old High German arabeit, German Arbeit "work," Old Frisian arbed, Old English earfoð "hardship, suffering, trouble"). As an adjective from late 15c.