verb (used with object)

to form into a circle or sphere.
Archaic. to encircle; enclose.

verb (used without object)

to move in an orbit.
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. 2019

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



(in royal regalia) an ornamental sphere surmounted by a cross, representing the power of a sovereign
a sphere; globe
poetic another word for eye 1
obsolete, or poetic
  1. a celestial body, esp the earth or sun
  2. the orbit of a celestial body
an archaic word for circle


to make or become circular or spherical
(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