[ oh-gris ]
/ ˈoʊ grɪs /
Save This Word!

a female monster in fairy tales and popular legend, usually represented as a hideous giant who feeds on human flesh.
a monstrously ugly, cruel, or barbarous woman.
There's an ocean of difference between the way people speak English in the US vs. the UK. Are your language skills up to the task of telling the difference? Let's find out!
Question 1 of 7
True or false? British English and American English are only different when it comes to slang words.

Origin of ogress

From the French word ogresse, dating back to 1705–15. See ogre, -ess

usage note for ogress

See -ess.

Words nearby ogress

Other definitions for ogress (2 of 2)

[ oh-gris ]
/ ˈoʊ grɪs /

noun Heraldry.
a roundel sable.
Also called pellet.

Origin of ogress

First recorded in 1565–75; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does ogress mean?

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

The word ogress is not commonly used, especially since the word ogre can be used regardless of gender.

Ogres and ogresses 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. Spoiler alert: the character Fiona turns out to be an ogress.

The words ogre and ogress are 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 ogress—she had a terrible temper and delighted in harassing and firing people. Such a person can be described with the adjective ogreish (or ogrish).

In heraldry, the word ogress refers to a black circle.

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

Where does ogress come from?

The first records of the word ogress referring to a female ogre come from around the early 1700s. Ogre 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. The suffix -ess is used to form female nouns, as in priestess, goddess, empress, and princess.

An ogress 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 ogresses appear throughout fantasy literature and legend, even though they may not always be specifically called ogresses.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of ogress?

  • ogre (masculine noun)

What are some synonyms for ogress?

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


How is ogress used in real life?

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



Try using ogress!

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

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

How to use ogress in a sentence