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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.


(ˈɔːfənˌhʊd) or


the state of being an orphan
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.orphanhood - the condition of being a child without living parentsorphanhood - the condition of being a child without living parents; "his early orphanage shaped his character as an adult"
condition - a mode of being or form of existence of a person or thing; "the human condition"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
I stand towards you in the position of a relative who is bound to watch over your lonely orphanhood. This I say in all sincerity, and with a single purpose, as any kinsman might do.
But there were some differences between Em'ly's orphanhood and mine, it appeared.
[2] In 2012 the prevalence of orphanhood in SA was estimated at 16.9%, with orphans 3.5 times more likely to be HIV-positive compared with non-orphans.
Overall results showed significant predictive relationship between stigma of orphanhood and depression.
This sense of being and belonging nowhere, of orphanhood in many guises, pervades Asymmetry and gives the volume a mission: to struggle toward an answer to her question and to redress this feeling of pain as well as to inhabit it truthfully.
Other questions will touch on ethnicity, orphanhood status, albinism, school attendance status and education attainment.
The notion of orphanhood commonly associated with classical Spanish rogues--Guzman de Alfarache, Don Pablos--often appears figuratively in neopicaresque literature.
The film is staged as a traditional coming-of-age tale dealing with orphanhood and gender and sexual identity within the confines of normative gender roles.
Despite her more generationally accepted previous non-job as a photo blogger, Candace snuggles comfortably into her corporate cubicle, the mindlessness offering her a respite from the grief of orphanhood. "Once I started, I was good at losing myself....
orphanhood and worse threaten the goodies when the baddies provoke