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See more synonyms for Orphic on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to Orpheus.
  2. resembling the music attributed to Orpheus; entrancing.
  3. pertaining to a religious or philosophical school maintaining a form of the cult of Dionysus, or Bacchus, ascribed to Orpheus as founder: Orphic mysteries.
  4. (often lowercase) mystic; oracular.
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Origin of Orphic

1670–80; < Greek Orphikós (cognate with Latin Orphicus), equivalent to Orph(eús) Orpheus + -ikos -ic
Related formsOr·phi·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for orphic

enigmatic, secluded, cryptic, rare, irrelevant, unknown, humble, esoteric, inaccessible, distant, undisclosed, arcane, secretive, mysterious, undistinguished, odd, remote, minor, thorough, philosophical

Examples from the Web for orphic

Historical Examples of orphic

  • "Starving will kill as dead as hanging," was Lieders's orphic response to this.

    Stories of a Western Town

    Octave Thanet

  • And Orphic purity was mainly, though not entirely, the result of moral discipline.

  • We may also take it that he was familiar with all sorts of Orphic and Pythagorean sectaries.

  • The Orphic priests of old Greece most nearly resembled the shamans of the savages.


    Hugo Mnsterberg

  • To them any version of the Orphic myth is tinglingly credible.

British Dictionary definitions for orphic


  1. of or relating to Orpheus or Orphism
  2. (sometimes not capital) mystical or occult
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Derived FormsOrphically, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for orphic



1670s, from Greek orphikos "pertaining to Orpheus," master musician of Thrace, son of Eagrus and Calliope, husband of Eurydice, whose name (of unknown origin) was associated with mystic doctrines. Related: Orphism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper