See more synonyms for orb on Thesaurus.com
  1. a sphere or globe: a Christmas tree hung with brightly colored orbs.
  2. the eyeball or eye: He looks with blind orbs on an indifferent world.
  3. any of the heavenly bodies, as the sun or moon: He lay on the grass, warmed by that orb of day, the sun.
  4. a globe bearing a cross; the mound or emblem of sovereignty, especially as part of the regalia of England.
  5. Astrology. the number of degrees from exactness within which an aspect operates.
  6. a circle or something circular.
  7. Astronomy. (formerly) the orbit of a heavenly body.
  8. the earth.
verb (used with object)
  1. to form into a circle or sphere.
  2. Archaic. to encircle; enclose.
verb (used without object)
  1. to move in an orbit.
  2. to form into an orb or globe; round out.

Origin of orb

First recorded in 1520–30, orb is from the Latin word orbis circle, disk, orb
Related formsorb·less, adjectiveorb·like, adjectiveun·orbed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for orb

sphere, ball, eye, round, lamp, circle, ring, rondure

Examples from the Web for orb

Contemporary Examples of orb

Historical Examples of orb

British Dictionary definitions for orb


  1. (in royal regalia) an ornamental sphere surmounted by a cross, representing the power of a sovereign
  2. a sphere; globe
  3. poetic another word for eye 1
  4. obsolete, or poetic
    1. a celestial body, esp the earth or sun
    2. the orbit of a celestial body
  5. an archaic word for circle
  1. to make or become circular or spherical
  2. (tr) an archaic word for encircle

Word Origin for orb

C16: from Latin orbis circle, disc
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

Word Origin and History for orb

mid-15c., "sphere, globe, something spherical or circular," from Old French orbe "orb, globe" (13c.) and directly from Latin orbem (nominative orbis) "circle, disk, ring, hoop, orbit," probably related to orbita "wheel track, rut," of unknown origin. Watkins suggests a connection with the root of orchid.

A three-dimensional extension of a word originally describing two-dimensional shapes. Astronomical sense is in reference to the hollow spheres that carried the planets and stars in the Ptolemaic system. As a verb from c.1600. Orb weaver spider is first recorded 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper