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[awr-fiz-uh m]
See more synonyms for Orphism on Thesaurus.com
  1. the religious or philosophical system of the Orphic school.
  2. (often lowercase) Also called orphic cubism. Fine Arts. a short-lived but influential artistic movement of the early 20th century arising from analytic cubism and the work of Robert Delaunay and having as conspicuous characteristics the use of bold color, the dynamic, prismatic juxtaposition and overlapping of nonobjective geometric forms and planes, and a lightness and lyricism dissociated from its cubist origins.
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Compare synchromism.

Origin of Orphism

(def 2) < French orphisme, equivalent to Orph(ée) Orpheus + -isme -ism; term introduced by G. Apollinaire c1913
Related formsOr·phist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for orphism

Historical Examples

  • Orphism took up the beliefs of paganism, and adapted them to its own ends.

    The Unpopular Review Vol. I


  • But Orphism was also connected with Crete, and Cretan civilization had oriental affinities.

  • Orphism and the Mysteries had attempted the same thing in the Grecian world without achieving a lasting success.

    The Apostles

    Ernest Renan

  • Orphism is especially important because it taught men to expect in the future life not only rewards but also punishments.

  • But Orphism, though liable to degradation, purified and elevated the old Bacchic rites.

British Dictionary definitions for orphism


  1. a mystery religion of ancient Greece, widespread from the 6th century bc onwards, combining pre-Hellenic beliefs, the Thracian cult of (Dionysius) Zagreus, etc
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Derived FormsOrphistic, adjective
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