[pey-fee-uh n]


of or relating to Paphos, an ancient city of Cyprus sacred to Aphrodite.
of or relating to love, especially illicit sexual love; erotic; wanton.
noting or pertaining to Aphrodite or to her worship or service.


the Paphian, Aphrodite: so called from her cult center at Paphos.
(often lowercase) a prostitute.

Origin of Paphian

1605–15; < Latin Paphi(us) (< Greek Páphios of Paphos, of Aphrodite) + -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paphian

Historical Examples of paphian

  • He will swear you are not only wiser than Minerva, but fairer than the Paphian queen!

    Munster Village

    Mary Hamilton

  • A small model of a temple is peculiarly Phnician, like that repeated upon Paphian coins.

    History of Ancient Art

    Franz von Reber

  • Would you worship the Paphian goddess, the groves of Cyprus are not more taciturn than those of the Temple.

    The Warden

    Anthony Trollope

  • Another daughter of the Paphian divinity presides at the shrine of rouge et noir.

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas

    Richard Henry Savage

  • The performances at the Paphian Hall on that festive occasion need not be described here with accuracy.

    Marion Fay

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for paphian



of or relating to Paphos
of or relating to Aphrodite
literary of sexual love
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