or·​phic | \ ˈȯr-fik How to pronounce orphic (audio) \

Definition of orphic

1 capitalized : of or relating to Orpheus or the rites or doctrines ascribed to him

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Other Words from orphic

orphically \ ˈȯr-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce orphic (audio) \ adverb

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."

Examples of orphic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Readers mystified by any of the author’s orphic lingo will find full explanations in the book’s extensive glossary. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: James Baldwin’s Tale of Childhood in Harlem," 23 Aug. 2018 As if fearing that too lyrical an approach to such an orphic figure would result in incoherence, Gooch describes this poet’s life in a decidedly unpoetic way. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "The mysterious life of America’s most popular poet, a 13th-century Persian," 20 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orphic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of orphic

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Cite this Entry

“Orphic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orphic. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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