Definition of Orphic in English:



  • Relating to Orpheus or Orphism.

    • ‘Such formal unity may have allowed Valéry to repair the pain that he had discovered in Orphic love, as embodied in his affair with C. Pozzi.’
    • ‘This last one is pretty important; Cocteau's explorations of the life of the artist show a deep affinity with the Orphic myth.’
    • ‘A variant form of Greek mythology given in Orphic theology, known from Neoplatonist sources, told an alternative version of the Titan myth, which also involves the separation of body parts but suggests a dual nature for human beings.’
    • ‘Let me quote Maurice Blanchot on Rilke's conception of art as an Orphic space: ‘To live is always already to take leave, to be dismissed and to dismiss what is.’’
    • ‘He has been dead these last 48 years, after a life which, combining the Orphic myth with the cautionary tale, melted into the legend that lies now six feet down in Laugharne churchyard.’
    • ‘[Syrianus] offered to discourse to them on either the Orphic theories or the oracles; but Domninus wanted Orphism, Proclus the oracles, and they had not agreed when Syrianus died…’
    • ‘I would argue, then, that at this pressure point in his life journey, the Orphic protagonist abandons the romance motto ‘be true to yourself’ in order to ask the novelistic question ‘who am I?’’
    • ‘With their kaleidoscopic color shifts and vibrations, their blurred halos, the Sisters reminded her of Sonia Delaunay's Orphic paintings.’
    • ‘On Samos the school which developed around Pythagoras had ideas more in the tradition of their Orphic religion and their philosopher-scientists were bound together by the bonds of shared belief around the mighty figure of Pythagoras.’
    • ‘To find new meaning in the myth of Orpheus's descent to retrieve Eurydice from the Underworld, Locke considers ancient natural philosophy, Plato, Orphic, and Christian world-views via a feminist anthropology of sacrifice.’
    • ‘The works of the Orphic artist must simultaneously give a pure aesthetic pleasure, a structure which is self-evident, and a sublime meaning, that is, a subject.’
    • ‘Orphism by Apollinaire: Works of the Orphic artist must simultaneously give a pure aesthetic pleasure, a structure which is self-deviant, and a sublime meaning, that is a subject.’
    • ‘There is an obvious contrast here between Dantean and Orphic models of katabasis: the descent of Orpheus ends in failure, while that of Dante's pilgrim ends in victory (at least victory for God).’
    • ‘Orpheus is the defining myth for singers and writers - for the Greeks, he was the greatest singer as well as the greatest poet - and it was my Orphic tale that finally made possible the collaboration we'd been kicking around.’
    • ‘Grossman's assignment of Eliot to the Orphic tradition is entirely in accordance with customary associations of the famous figure who determined how poetry was written and discussed for two generations.’
    • ‘For me, this links Godard's films and videos to Cocteau's Orphic, autobiographical cinema of human creativity, with its sinuous, narrating voice and wondrous, neon-like, astrological drawings.’
    • ‘We usually think of the Orphic myth as a story about the artist's deadly gaze and the power of his art, about love and its fatal moment of madness.’
    • ‘In The Flutist, an Orphic piper with a mother-of-pearl face charms fossilized rocks, which rise from the grassy ground to assemble a ziggurat ascending to the ether.’
    • ‘This superimposition of the Orphic artist/historian onto the Benjaminian angel - and of Sebald's dead bodies onto Eurydice - is not far-fetched.’
    • ‘Such notions remain at the root of consciousness, but have been transformed through tragic and Orphic Greek philosophical myths to Judeo-Christian myths of guilt, justification and redemption.’


Late 17th century: via Latin from Greek Orphikos, from Orpheus (see Orpheus).