Orphan

An orphan (from the Greek: ορφανός, romanized: orphanós)[1] is a child whose parents have died, are unknown, or have permanently abandoned them.[2][3]

Orphans by Thomas Kennington, oil on canvas, 1885

In common usage, only a child who has lost both parents due to death is called an orphan. When referring to animals, only the mother's condition is usually relevant (i.e. if the female parent has gone, the offspring is an orphan, regardless of the father's condition).[4]


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