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ogre

[ oh-ger ]
/ ˈoʊ gər /
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See synonyms for: ogre / ogreish on Thesaurus.com

noun
a monster in fairy tales and popular legend, usually represented as a hideous giant who feeds on human flesh.
a monstrously ugly, cruel, or barbarous person.
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Origin of ogre

1705–15; <French; perhaps ≪ Latin OrcusOrcus

OTHER WORDS FROM ogre

o·gre·ish [oh-ger-ish], /ˈoʊ gər ɪʃ/, o·grish [oh-grish], /ˈoʊ grɪʃ/, adjectiveo·gre·ish·ly, o·grish·ly, adverbo·gre·ism, ogrism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does ogre mean?

An ogre is a fictional creature usually represented as a mean, ugly humanlike monster or giant who eats people.

Ogres have traditionally appeared in fairy tales and legends, but they’re also depicted in modern media, such as fantasy video games and the series of movies starring the character Shrek, who happens to be a friendly ogre.

The word ogre is sometimes used in a figurative way as an insult referring to a person who’s cruel, monstrous, ugly, or brutish—or (especially) a combination of these characteristics, as in The boss at my last job was a complete ogre—he had a terrible temper and delighted in harassing and firing people. Such a person can be described with the adjective ogreish (or ogrish).

A female ogre can be called an ogress, but this is not commonly used, especially since the word ogre can be used regardless of gender.

Example: At the end of this level, you have to battle a huge ogre who’s trying to eat you alive.

Where does ogre come from?

The first records of the word ogre come from around the early 1700s. It comes from the French word of the same spelling, which may have derived from the Latin word Orcus, the name of the Roman god of the underworld. However, the origin of the word is uncertain.

An ogre is most commonly shown as a kind of ugly, mean monster. The word troll can refer to a similar creature, but trolls are often shown as being either big or small, while ogres are usually giants. Characters that could be considered ogres appear throughout fantasy literature and legend, even though they may not always be specifically called ogres. Examples include Polyphemus, the Cyclops from Homer’s Odyssey, and Grendel, the monster in Beowulf.

Because ogres are typically depicted as mean and violent, the depiction of Shrek as an ogre who just wants to mind his own business is supposed to be ironic and funny.

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What are some other forms of ogre?

  • ogress (feminine noun)
  • ogreish (adjective)
  • ogrish (adjective)
  • ogreishly (adverb)
  • ogrishly (adverb)

What are some synonyms for ogre?

What are some words that often get used in discussing ogre?

 

How is ogre used in real life?

Ogres are associated with their appearance in fantasy stories, where they’re usually villainous monsters. Calling a person an ogre in the figurative sense is a harsh insult and can be very offensive, especially if it’s meant to insult their appearance.

 

Try using ogre!

Which of the following words would usually be used to describe an ogre?

A. big
B. ugly
C. mean
D. all of the above

How to use ogre in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ogre

ogre
/ (ˈəʊɡə) /

noun
(in folklore) a giant, usually given to eating human flesh
any monstrous or cruel person

Derived forms of ogre

ogreish, adjectiveogress, fem n

Word Origin for ogre

C18: from French, perhaps from Latin Orcus god of the infernal regions
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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