Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. A child whose parents are dead.
b. A child who has been deprived of parental care and has not been adopted.
2. A young animal that has been prematurely separated from its parents or its mother.
3. One that lacks support, supervision, or care: A lack of corporate interest has made the subsidiary an orphan.
4. A technology or product that has not been developed or marketed, especially on account of being commercially unprofitable.
5. Printing A very short line of type at the bottom of a paragraph, column, or page.
1. Deprived of parents.
2. Intended for orphans: an orphan home.
3. Lacking support, supervision, or care.
4. Being a technology or product that is an orphan.
tr.v. or·phaned, or·phan·ing, or·phans
To deprive (a child or young animal) of a parent or parents.

[Middle English, from Late Latin orphanus, from Greek orphanos, orphaned; see orbh- in Indo-European roots.]

or′phan·hood′ n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.orphaned - deprived of parents by death or desertion
parentless, unparented - having no parent or parents or not cared for by parent surrogates
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Orphaned, the eldest, head of the family at the age of nineteen, he felt himself rudely recalled from the reveries of school to the realities of this world.
The new school year will start with the addition of 250 students, totalling 400 male and female orphaned students.
Currently, 150 orphans are benefiting from the centre and the new school year will start with the addition of 250 students, totaling 400 male and female orphaned students.
Behrendt and Serigne27 identified greater suicide risk in orphaned boys.
He said 'the 2019 ORPHANS CARNIVAL is the second edition since we started advocating for the inclusiveness and hope of a better life for orphaned and vulnerable children.
President Mamnoon said in the history, many people who had made landmark achievements in the history, had been orphaned in their childhood.
The number of orphaned girls in Jeddah is 120, in all the orphanages in the city.
Children, in general, need guidance and support, and therefore orphaned children receive preferential treatment.
Jeddah, June 12 (BNA): The wide range of disasters, wars and crises witnessed across the OIC Member States left in their wake countless victims, as well as hundreds of thousands of orphaned children.
According to a report by UNICEF, Pakistan is home to 4.2 million orphaned children, a large number of whom are deprived of basic health, food, and education facilities.
'The UAE Initiative for Connection with Orphans and Minors' will involve a range of authorities along with individuals and families interested in taking part.State news agency WAM reported this includes families taking orphaned children into their homes for half a day and allowing them to take part in activities, such as swimming and biking.
These include fraternal connections to provide guidance and good advice, take care of orphaned and minor students for a certain number of class hours, and setting up common interest groups to engage orphans and minors in activities like swimming and biking.