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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Osiris \O*si"ris\, prop. n. [L., fr. Gr. ?; of Egyptian origin.] (Myth.) One of the principal divinities of Egypt, the brother and husband of Isis. He was figured as a mummy wearing the royal cap of Upper Egypt, and was symbolized by the sacred bull, called Apis. Cf. Serapis. -- O*sir"i*an, a.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

name of a principal god of Egypt, judge of the dead, from Latin Osiris, from Greek, from Egyptian Asar. Related: Osirian.


Osiris (, alternatively Ausir, Asiri or Ausar, among other spellings), was an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead, but more appropriately as the god of transition, resurrection, and regeneration. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. Osiris was at times considered the oldest son of the earth god Geb, though other sources state his father is the sun-god Ra and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son. He was also associated with the epithet Khenti-Amentiu, meaning "Foremost of the Westerners", a reference to his kingship in the land of the dead. As ruler of the dead, Osiris was also sometimes called "king of the living": ancient Egyptians considered the blessed dead "the living ones". Osiris was considered the brother of Isis, Set, Nephthys, and Horus the Elder, and father of Horus the younger. Osiris is first attested in the middle of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt, although it is likely that he was worshipped much earlier; the Khenti-Amentiu epithet dates to at least the first dynasty, also as a pharaonic title. Most information available on the myths of Osiris is derived from allusions contained in the Pyramid Texts at the end of the Fifth Dynasty, later New Kingdom source documents such as the Shabaka Stone and the Contending of Horus and Seth, and much later, in narrative style from the writings of Greek authors including Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus.

Osiris was considered not only a merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife, but also the underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. He was described as the "Lord of love", "He Who is Permanently Benign and Youthful" and the "Lord of Silence". The Kings of Egypt were associated with Osiris in death – as Osiris rose from the dead they would, in union with him, inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic. By the New Kingdom all people, not just pharaohs, were believed to be associated with Osiris at death, if they incurred the costs of the assimilation rituals.

Through the hope of new life after death, Osiris began to be associated with the cycles observed in nature, in particular vegetation and the annual flooding of the Nile, through his links with the heliacal rising of Orion and Sirius at the start of the new year. Osiris was widely worshipped as Lord of the Dead until the suppression of the Egyptian religion during the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

Osiris (disambiguation)

Osiris is an Egyptian deity.

Osiris may also refer to:

In astronomy:

  • Odin-OSIRIS, an atmospheric measurement instrument
  • Osiris (planet) or HD 209458 b, an extrasolar planet
  • Osiris (lunar crater)
  • 1923 Osiris, an asteroid
  • Osiris mission, a proposed NASA Discovery mission
  • OH-Suppressing Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph
  • Optical System for Imaging and low Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy
  • Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System
  • Osiris (Ganymede crater), a crater on Ganymede

In fiction:

  • Osiris (DC Comics), any of three characters from DC Comics
  • Osiris (Marvel Comics), a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe
  • Osiris (Stargate), a character in Stargate SG-1
  • Osiris (The Matrix), a hovercraft in The Matrix

In music:

  • Osiris (funk band), 1970s funk band led by Tyrone Brunson
  • Osiris (symphony), a symphony by Gamal El-Din Abdel Rehim
  • Osiris, a Bahrainian progressive rock band

In other uses:

  • Osiris (journal), a scholarly journal on the history of science
  • Osiris (genus), a genus of cleptoparasitic bees
  • Osiris (Serverless Portal System)
  • HMS Osiris, an Oberon-class submarine in the Royal Navy
  • Osiris Shoes, a skateboarding footwear company
  • Osiris, a South Devon Railway Comet class steam locomotive
Osiris (lunar crater)

Osiris is a tiny lunar crater in the southeastern part of the Mare Serenitatis. It is located to the northeast of the small crater Dawes, and to the west of the Montes Taurus range. To the east-northeast of this position is the landing site of the Apollo 17 mission, in the Taurus–Littrow valley.

This area of the surface is notable for an interrupted crater chain running from west-southwest to east-northeast.

Osiris (Marvel Comics)

Osiris is a fictional character appearing in the Marvel Comics universe, based loosely on the Osiris of Egyptian mythology.

Osiris (DC Comics)

Osiris is the name of three fictional characters published by DC Comics. The first appeared in 1994 as a foil for the Justice League. The second appeared under the Vertigo Comics imprint in a spin-off of The Sandman in 2002. The third debuted in the pages of Teen Titans and 52 in 2006.

Osiris (comics)

Osiris, in comics, may refer to:

  • Osiris (DC Comics), there are three DC Comics characters with this name
  • Osiris (Marvel Comics), the Marvel Comics version of the god
Osiris (journal)

Osiris is an annual peer-reviewed academic journal covering research in the history of science. George Sarton oversaw the publication of fifteen issues from the establishment of the journal in 1936 until 1968. In 1985, the History of Science Society revived the journal and has published it annually ever since (though no issue appeared in 1991). It is now published by the University of Chicago Press.

Osiris (genus)

The cleptoparasitic bee genus Osiris is a rare group of apid bees from the Neotropics ( Mexico through Argentina), that lay their eggs in the nests of bees in the related tribe Tapinotaspidini, such as Paratetrapedia. Most of the known species are pale yellowish, smooth and shining, and very wasp-like in appearance.

Females in this tribe are unusual in having the last metasomal sternite elongated to form a sheath for the sting, which is remarkably long.

Osiris (software)

Osiris Serverless Portal System (usually abbreviated as Osiris sps or Osiris) is a freeware program used to create web portals distributed via peer-to-peer networking (P2P) and autonomous from centralized servers. It is available for Microsoft Windows and GNU/Linux operating systems.

Unlike common tools used to publish information on the Internet, such as content management systems, Internet forums or blogs based on a centralized system, the data of an Osiris portal are shared (via P2P) between all its participants. Because all the contents necessary for navigation are replicated on every computer, the portal can be used without a central server. Thus, the portal is always accessible because it is immune to denial of service attacks, Internet service provider limitations (such as traffic shaping and censorship) and hardware failure. In this way, a web portal can be operated at very low costs and free from external control.

Usage examples of "osiris".

My father, now in Osiris, a worthier highpriest than I, was charged by the Prophets to entreat his father to give up the guilty project of connecting the north sea by a navigable channel with the unclean waters of the Red Sea.

I partly reasoned with my selfe, and partly examining the thing with the Priests and Bishops, there came a new and marvailous thought in my mind, that is to say, I was onely religious to the goddesse Isis, but not sacred to the religion of great Osiris the soveraigne father of all the goddesses, between whom, although there was a religious unitie and concord, yet there was a great difference of order and ceremony.

Chapters CXLIX and CL give the names of the Fourteen Aats, or districts, of the Kingdom of Osiris.

On lower tables to either side were large unlit candles and statuettes of many of the Egyptian gods: queenly Isis, whip-wielding Osiris, jackal-jawed Anubis and cat-headed Bast herself.

Sure enough, there was Osiris, and Aset—my Anya, I realized—and all the other gods and goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon.

Sure enough, there was Osiris, and Aset-my Anya, I realized-and all the other gods and goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon.

And because it was necessary that I should likewise be a minister unto Osiris, there was no long delay: for in the night after, appeared unto me one of that order, covered with linnen robes, holding in his hands speares wrapped in Ivie, and other things not convenient to declare, which then he left in my chamber, and sitting in my seate, recited to me such things as were necessary for the sumptuous banket of mine entrie.

The Osiris Ani saith:- Hail, Phallus of Ra, which advanceth and beateth down opposition.

Peters for nearly two hours about the New Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, Osiris, Ammon, Mut, Bubastis, dynasties, Cheops, the Hyksos kings, cylinders, bezels, Amenophis III, Queen Taia, the Princess Gilukhipa of Mitanni, the lake of Zarukhe, Naucratis, and the Book of the Dead.

The majority of traits drawn by Plutarch apply to her, in the same manner as those of Osiris apply to Bootes: also the seven principal stars of the she-bear, called David's chariot, were called the chariot of Osiris (See Kirker).

And the Osiris Ani is the lord to whom bowings and prostrations are made in Sekhem.

I recognized the standard mortuary formula, addressed to the God of the Dead: "Invocation to Osiris, Lord of Busiris, et cetera, et cetera, by the Chantress of Isis, Henutmehit .

All these chronologies nevertheless agree on a very ancient date for the First Time of Osiris: the golden age when the gods were believed to have ruled in Egypt.

Indeed, this was more than just imagination because Osiris was physically present in the astonishing symphony of reliefs that adorned the walls—reliefs that depicted the once and future civilizer-king in his role as god of the dead, enthroned and attended by Isis, his beautiful and mysterious sister.

The son of Isis and Osiris, he is often depicted as an infant on his mother's lap and together the parents and child form a trinity.