oracle town on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in Phocis, from Greek delphis "dolphin" (see dolphin). Supposedly Apollo assumed this form to found his famous sanctuary at that place.
"of or pertaining to Apollo or to his priestess of the oracle at Delphi," 1590s, from Latin Delphicus, from Greek Delphikos, from Delphi (see Delphi). Related: Delphian.
"priestess of Apollo at Delphi," who received his oracles in the inner sanctuary of the great temple, 1842, from Greek pythia (hiereia) "(Priestess) of Pythian Apollo," from a variant form of Pythios, an epithet of Apollo, from Pytho, older name of the region of Delphi (see python).
ancient region in central Greece which included Delphi, from Greek Phōkis. Related: Phocian.
fem. proper name, from Latin, from Greek (Ionic) melissa (Attic melitta) "honeybee," also "one of the priestesses of Delphi," from meli, melitos "honey," from PIE *melit-ya, suffixed form of root *melit- "honey."
1580s, name of a fabled serpent, slain by Apollo near Delphi, from Latin Python, from Greek Pythōn "serpent slain by Apollo," probably related to Pythō, the old name of Delphi. Chaucer has it (late 14c.) as Phitoun.
This might be related to pythein "to rot," or from PIE *dhubh-(o)n-, from *dheub- "hollow, deep, bottom, depths," and used in reference to the monsters who inhabit them. Loosely used for "any very large snake," hence the zoological application to large non-venomous snakes of the tropics (1836, originally in French). Related: Pythonic.
also omphalus, "sacred stone," 1850, from Greek omphalos, literally "navel," later also "hub" (as the central point), from PIE *ombh-alo-, from root *nobh-/*ombh- "navel" (see navel). Especially as the name of the rounded or conical stone in the shrine at Delphi, regarded by the ancients as the center of the world. Related: Omphalic.
"an appearance of God to man," 1630s, from Late Latin theophania, from Greek theos "god" (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts) + phainein "bring to light, cause to appear, show" (from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine"). In Middle English "Epiphany" (late 12c.). Ancient Greek Theophaneia was the name of a festival at Delphi during which the statues of Apollo and other gods were displayed to the public.