[ awr-fee-uh s, -fyoos ]
/ ˈɔr fi əs, -fyus /


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.
(italics) a ballet (1947) with music by Stravinsky and choreography by Balanchine.
Related formsOr·phe·an [awr-fee-uh n, awr-fee-uh n] /ɔrˈfi ən, ˈɔr fi ən/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for orphean

  • So, too, the Semitic statesman charmed the rudest elements with his Orphean song.

    The Quest for a Lost Race|Thomas E. Pickett
  • Love was the Orphean lute he played upon, sending such sweet melody into the world that its strains have not yet died away.

    The Story of Assisi|Lina Duff Gordon

British Dictionary definitions for orphean (1 of 2)


/ (ˈɔːfɪən) /


of or relating to Orpheus
melodious or enchanting

British Dictionary definitions for orphean (2 of 2)


/ (ˈɔːfɪəs, -fjuːs) /


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