View synonyms for orb


[ awrb ]


  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.


/ ɔːb /


  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.
    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

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Other Words From

  • orbless adjective
  • orblike adjective
  • un·orbed adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of orb1

First recorded in 1520–30, orb is from the Latin word orbis circle, disk, orb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of orb1

C16: from Latin orbis circle, disc

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Example Sentences

It has been a terrible year on so many metrics, no matter where on this celestial orb you live.

Scientists have observed the planets and moons in our solar system for centuries, and have flown spacecraft past the orbs for decades.

Its shape is more similar to a spinning top than a basketball or other orb, and it’s not very big—about a third of a mile wide at its widest point.

When moved next to text, the faint gray orb signifying your mouse cursor transforms into a blinking editing variant, letting you highlight and copy or paste whatever you’re hovering over.

From Time

Materia, orbs of immense power, grant the ability to cast spells.

From Time

There is something to the challenge posed by that dimpled orb that creates great distraction.

Unbeknownst to him, the orb contains an Infinity Stone, which holds within it the power to destroy entire planets.

Guardians centers on Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), an intergalactic smuggler who swipes an orb.

One day, he stumbles across a mysterious orb whose very existence threatens the future of the universe.

Quite frankly, the custom made Sealegs craft knocks the spots off the orb he got given by the Pope the other day.

The morning crawled past, the sun mounted until I could see the golden orb near zenith.

The moon rose majestically above the distant trees; her full, round, and yellow orb cast a mellow light upon our group.

The orb of the sun, already near the horizon, seemed enormous and of purple hue.

They prayed devoutly before sunrise; but until the orb had risen they never spoke of worldly matters.

Such is the complete revolution of our planet round the orb of day.


Related Words

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More About Orb

What does orb mean?

An orb is an object shaped like a sphere or globe.

We call most globe-shaped things balls or spheres. Orb is usually reserved for more poetic uses, or to convey a fantastical or sci-fi feel—a UFO might be described as an orb, for example.

Example: The movie shows the aliens traveling in an orb of light.

Where does orb come from?

The first records of the word orb in English come from the early 1500s. It comes from the Latin word orbis, meaning “circle” or “disk.” This word is also the basis of the word orbit—though technically the orbits of most planets are elliptical (oval-shaped).

An orb is any three-dimensional spherical figure (though less commonly it can refer to a plain two-dimensional circle). The word is sometimes used as a more poetic way to refer to what we usually call celestial bodies or heavenly bodies—planets, moons, and stars (since they are all spheres). It can also refer specifically to Earth, and was formerly used to mean “orbit.” More strangely, orb is used as a fanciful word for the eyeball. (But do yourself a favor and don’t refer to your eyes as orbs.) Most commonly, it’s used in place of ball or sphere to be poetic or convey a mysterious or mystical aura, as in She saw a glowing orb rise from the field and knew it was a friendly spirit. 

More specifically, orb is the name of a symbol used in royal regalia that’s the form of a ball topped with a cross. It is used to symbolize royal power.

Much less commonly, orb can be used as a verb meaning “to shape into a sphere” or “to move in an orbit.”

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What are some other forms related to orb?

  • orbless (adjective)
  • orblike (adjective)
  • unorbed (adjective)

What are some synonyms for orb?

What are some words that share a root or word element with orb

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


How is orb used in real life?

Orb can be used in many different ways to refer to spherical objects, but it is often used poetically as a fancier way of saying ball.



Try using orb!

Is orb used correctly in the following sentence?

The abstract sculpture is formed from thousands of brightly colored orbs, perhaps intended to symbolize atoms or cells.