- The definition of orphan is a child or something related to a child who's lost their parents.
An example of orphan is a home for children without parents; an orphan home.
- An orphan is defined as a child whose parents have died.
An example of an orphan is a little girl whose mother and father died in a car accident.
- a child whose father and mother are dead: often used fig.
- Rare a child who has lost only one parent by death
Origin of orphanEcclesiastical Late Latin orphanus from Classical Greek orphanos from Indo-European base an unverified form orbho-, orphan from source Classical Latin orbus, bereft, German erbe, inheritance, arbeit, work, Czech robotnik, serf
- being an orphan
- of or for orphans: an orphan home
- of a product that is medically valuable but is not produced because it lacks a profitable market, as a drug for a rare disease
- a. A child whose parents are dead.b. A child who has been deprived of parental care and has not been adopted.
- A young animal that has been prematurely separated from its parents or its mother.
- One that lacks support, supervision, or care: A lack of corporate interest has made the subsidiary an orphan.
- A technology or product that has not been developed or marketed, especially on account of being commercially unprofitable.
- Printing A very short line of type at the bottom of a paragraph, column, or page.
- Deprived of parents.
- Intended for orphans: an orphan home.
- Lacking support, supervision, or care.
- Being a technology or product that is an orphan.
transitive verbor·phaned, or·phan·ing, or·phans
Origin of orphanMiddle English from Late Latin orphanus from Greek orphanos orphaned ; see orbh- in Indo-European roots.
- A person, especially a minor, both or (rarely) one of whose parents have died.
- A young animal with no mother.
- (figuratively) Anything that is unsupported, as by its source, provider or caretaker, by reason of the supporter's demise or decision to abandon.
- (typography) A single line of type, beginning a paragraph, at the bottom of a column or page.
- (computing) Any unreferenced object.
(third-person singular simple present orphans, present participle orphaning, simple past and past participle orphaned)
- To deprive of parents (used almost exclusively in the passive)
- What do you do when you come across two orphaned polar bear cubs?
- (computing) To make unavailable, as by unlinking the last remaining pointer to.
- When you removed that image tag, you orphaned the resized icon.
- Removing categories orphans pages from the main category tree.
From Late Latin orphanus, from Ancient Greek á½€ÏÏ†Î±Î½ÏŒÏ‚ (orphanos, “without parents, fatherless"), from Proto-Indo-European *HÃ³rbÊ°o-. Cognate with Sanskrit à¤…à¤°à¥à¤ (Ã¡rbha), Latin orbus (“orphaned"), Old High German erbi, arbi (German Erbe (“heir")), Old English ierfa (“heir"). More at erf.