city in France, French Orléans, from Roman Aurelianum, named 3c. C.E. in honor of emperor Aurelian, who reigned from 270 to 275 and reunited Gaul with Rome. The place had formerly been called Genabum, from roots *gen- "bend" (in a river) + *apa "water." In French politics, the name of a family descended from a younger brother of Louis XIV; one of its princes reigned 1830-1848 as Louis Philippe. Hence Orleanist "an adherent of the princes of Orleans."