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[awrk] /ɔrk/
any of several cetaceans, as a grampus.
a mythical monster, as an ogre.
Origin of orc
First recorded in 1510-20, orc is from the Latin word orca


Officers' Reserve Corps. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for orc
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The battle with the orc is borrowed from the tale of Perseus.

  • One merely gathers, that orc releases himself in order to marry the shadowy daughter of Urthona,—Ah!

    William Blake Irene Langridge
  • The prelude is the lament of a nameless shadowy female, who rises from out the breast of orc.

    William Blake Irene Langridge
  • orc is heard raging on Mount Atlas, where he is chained down with the chain of jealousy.

    William Blake Irene Langridge
  • But with the dawn of that morning orc descended in fire, “and in the vineyards of red France appeared the light of his fury.”

    William Blake

    Algernon Charles Swinburne
British Dictionary definitions for orc


any of various whales, such as the killer and grampus
one of an imaginary race of evil goblins, esp in the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien
Word Origin
C16: via Latin orca, perhaps from Greek orux whale
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for orc

"ogre, devouring monster," Old English orcþyrs, orcneas (plural), perhaps from a Romanic source akin to ogre, and ultimately from Latin Orcus "Hell," a word of unknown origin. Revived by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) as the name of a brutal race in Middle Earth.

But Orcs and Trolls spoke as they would, without love of words or things; and their language was actually more degraded and filthy than I have shown it. ["Return of the King," 1955]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for orc


Related Terms




An orchestra (1936+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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