[awr-fee-uh s, -fyoos]
- 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for orpheus
In fact, he's even a kind of modern-day Orpheus, descending into the sewer to bet his life and find redemption.New York’s Greatest Show Or How They Did Not Screw Up ‘Guys and Dolls’
April 6, 2014
Orpheus also contains within himself two sides of the poetic character.
Traditionally, Orpheus was first a priest of Dionysus and then a priest of Apollo; he linked the cults within himself.
But surely, you may say after all this, Orpheus is just a myth?
The life of Orpheus that artists know and love seems to fall into three distinct parts.
The very rocks answered the voice of Orpheus, and everything was at peace.
Sometimes, even in these days, it seems as if Orpheus were singing again.
Then Orpheus began to play, and the hardest rocks were stirred.
Old books tell us that Orpheus was really the south wind itself.
Orpheus went into the woods one day and took nothing but his harp with him.
- 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