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[awr, ohr] /ɔr, oʊr/
a metal-bearing mineral or rock, or a native metal, that can be mined at a profit.
a mineral or natural product serving as a source of some nonmetallic substance, as sulfur.
Origin of ore
before 900; conflation of Middle English ore, Old English ōra ore, unreduced metal; and Middle English or(e) ore, metal, Old English ār brass, cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German ēr, Old Norse eir, Gothic aiz; compare Latin aes bronze, coin, money
Can be confused
oar, o'er, or, ore.


[œ-ruh] /ˈœ rə/
noun, plural öre.
a bronze coin of Norway, the 100th part of a krone.
a zinc or bronze coin of Denmark, the 100th part of a krone.
a bronze coin of Sweden, the 100th part of a krona.
a fractional currency of the Faeroe Islands, the 100th part of a krona.
Also, øre (for defs 1, 2)
1600-10;Latin aureus a gold coin


1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ore
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The veins of this ore in Tuscarawas are from five to fifteen feet thick.

  • By way of answer I explained that I knew the source of the ore but not the route of its coming.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • Then when all had been approved the test lot of ore was run.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • But this little they must have, and it seems that the supply of ore was failing.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • With it went a sample of the ore and the bullet that had killed Pete.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • I say that it's a most astonishing thing if the ore suddenly stops there.

    Joy (First Series Plays) John Galsworthy
British Dictionary definitions for ore


any naturally occurring mineral or aggregate of minerals from which economically important constituents, esp metals, can be extracted
Word Origin
Old English ār, ōra; related to Gothic aiz, Latin aes, Dutch oer


noun (pl) öre
a Scandinavian monetary unit worth one hundredth of a Swedish krona and (øre) one hundredth of a Danish and Norwegian krone
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 ore

12c., merger of Old English ora "ore, unworked metal" (related to ear "earth," cognate with Low German ur "iron-containing ore," Dutch oer, Old Norse aurr "gravel"); and Old English ar "brass, copper, bronze," from Proto-Germanic *ajiz- (cf. Old Norse eir "brass, copper," German ehern "brazen," Gothic aiz "bronze"), from PIE *aus- "gold" (see aureate). The two words were not fully assimilated till 17c.; what emerged has the form of ar but the meaning of ora.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ore in Science
A naturally occurring mineral or rock from which a valuable or useful substance, especially a metal, can be extracted at a reasonable cost.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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ore in Culture

ore definition

In geology, a mineral that contains a commercially useful material, such as gold or uranium.

Note: Ore deposits are generally mined, and the ore is processed to recover the material.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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