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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from orphic

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about orphic

Listen to Our Podcast about orphic

Dictionary Entries near orphic








Statistics for orphic

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for orphic

The first known use of orphic was in 1656

See more words from the same year

Comments on orphic

What made you want to look up orphic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!