Word of the Day

orphic

audio pronunciation
September 21, 2012
adjective
\OR-fik\
Definition
1
: of or relating to Orpheus or the rites or doctrines ascribed to him
2
: of, relating to, being, or resembling an oracle : oracular, mystic
3
: fascinating, entrancing
Examples
"'No summer ever came back, and no two summers ever were alike,' said I, with a degree of Orphic wisdom that astonished myself." — From Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1852 novel The Blithedale Romance

"The cosmos itself reverberates through the orphic strings of the bridge's supporting cables, creating one song, one bridge of fire, linked to the stars themselves and to the deepest human desires for Cathay, meaning for Hart Crane perfection of place, fulfillment in the social order." — From Kevin Starr's 2010 book Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge
Subscribe
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
Orpheus was a hero of Greek mythology who was supposed to possess superhuman musical skills. With his legendary lyre, he was said to be able to make even the rocks and trees dance around. In fact, when his wife Eurydice died, he was nearly able to use his lyre to secure her return from the underworld. Later on, according to legend, he was killed at the bidding of Dionysus, and an oracle of Orpheus was established that came to rival the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. Because of the oracle of Orpheus, "orphic" can mean "oracular." Because of Orpheus' musical powers, "orphic" can mean "entrancing."

Test Your Vocabulary: What is the meaning of the word "Delphic"? The answer is ...
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
Podcast
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears