O o


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [awr-fuh n]
    • /ˈɔr fən/
    • /ˈɔː.fən/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [awr-fuh n]
    • /ˈɔr fən/

Definitions of orphan word

  • noun orphan a child who has lost both parents through death, or, less commonly, one parent. 1
  • noun orphan a young animal that has been deserted by or has lost its mother. 1
  • noun orphan a person or thing that is without protective affiliation, sponsorship, etc.: The committee is an orphan of the previous administration. 1
  • noun orphan Printing. (especially in word processing) the first line of a paragraph when it appears alone at the bottom of a page. widow (def 3b). 1
  • adjective orphan bereft of parents. 1
  • adjective orphan of or for orphans: an orphan home. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of orphan

First appearance:

before 1425
One of the 25% oldest English words
1425-75; late Middle English (noun) < Late Latin orphanus destitute, without parents < Greek orphanós bereaved; akin to Latin orbus bereaved

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Orphan


orphan popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 87% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

orphan usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for orphan

noun orphan

  • child — A child is a human being who is not yet an adult.
  • baby — A baby is a very young child, especially one that cannot yet walk or talk.
  • boy — A boy is a child who will grow up to be a man.
  • girl — a female child, from birth to full growth.
  • waif — a person, especially a child, who has no home or friends.

verb orphan

  • bereave — to deprive (of) something or someone valued, esp through death
  • leave alone — separate, apart, or isolated from others: I want to be alone.
  • leave — to go out of or away from, as a place: to leave the house.

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See also

Matching words

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