- 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 orphanhood
Extreme poverty, which affects 1.4 billion people, is the leading cause of orphanhood.Solutions for the Orphan Crisis
The Daily Beast
November 17, 2010
Plato wishes to make the misfortune of orphanhood as little sad to them as possible.Laws
And Foma's soul was dry, dark; it was filled with a painful feeling of orphanhood.Foma Gordyeff
To her it was a new experience, for since her orphanhood she had scarcely been away from Valencia.Meg, of Valencia
Myra Williams Jarrell
HEN we turn away from the world, and leave it, we ourselves are not left to desolation and orphanhood.My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year
John Henry Jowett
The world waited long ere men found an Elder Brother who could break the spell of their orphanhood and reveal to them a Father.The Bible and Life
Edwin Holt Hughes
- 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 and History for orphanhood
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.