Pronunciation: (ôr'fun),[key] —n. 1. a child who has lost both parents through death, or, less commonly, one parent.
2. a young animal that has been deserted by or has lost its mother.
3. a person or thing that is without protective affiliation, sponsorship, etc.: The committee is an orphan of the previous administration. 4. Print. a. (esp. in word processing) the first line of a paragraph when it appears alone at the bottom of a page.
b. widow (def. 3b).
—adj. 1. bereft of parents.
2. of or for orphans: an orphan home. 3. not authorized, supported, or funded; not part of a system; isolated; abandoned: an orphan research project. 4. lacking a commercial sponsor, an employer, etc.: orphan workers.
—v.t. 1. to deprive of parents or a parent through death: He was orphaned at the age of four. 2. Informal.to deprive of commercial sponsorship, an employer, etc.: The recession has orphaned many experienced workers.