Definition of orphan in English:

orphan

Line breaks: or¦phan
Pronunciation: /ˈɔːf(ə)n
 
/

noun

  • 1A child whose parents are dead: he was left an orphan as a small boy [as modifier]: an orphan girl orphan chimps
    More example sentences
    • She grew up an orphan, her parents having been killed in a battle which overtook their hometown.
    • The Earl had suggested that David pretend to be an orphan whose parents had been American gentility.
    • This three-month old baby escaped with a fractured wrist, but is now an orphan as both parents were killed.
  • 2 Printing The first line of a paragraph set as the last line of a page or column, considered undesirable.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • Make (a child) an orphan: John was orphaned at 12
    More example sentences
    • By the time he was a young teenager, he and his brother were orphaned, alone and destitute.
    • The boy who is an orphan was orphaned when his parents died in short succession in 1992.
    • He was orphaned at the age of nine, and got a job as a cabin boy, and through sheer hard graft, worked his way up the ranks.

Derivatives

orphanhood

noun
More example sentences
  • Ill health can also be an important cause of poverty through loss of income, catastrophic health expenses, and orphanhood.
  • From boyhood, he learned to keep his feelings to himself, repressing memories of his father and of the emotional impact of early orphanhood.
  • During the Long First Half of the Twentieth Century, one of the most important factors in the rising age of home-leaving was declining adult mortality, which led to declining rates of orphanhood.

Origin

late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek orphanos 'bereaved'.

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