Borrowed from Latin coryphaeus, from Ancient Greek κορυφαῖος (koruphaîos, “leader of the chorus in an Ancient Greek drama”), from κορυφή (koruphḗ, “top of the head, crown”) (possibly ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ḱerh₂- (“head, top; horn”)) + -ῐος (-ios, suffix forming adjectives meaning ‘belonging to, pertaining to’).
coryphaeus (plural coryphaeuses or coryphaei)
- (Ancient Greece, drama, historical) The conductor or leader of the chorus of a drama.
- (by extension) The chief or leader of an interest or party.
- The leader of an opera chorus or another ensemble of singers.