[ awrk ]
/ ɔrk /


any of several cetaceans, as a grampus.
a mythical monster, as an ogre.

Origin of orc

First recorded in 1510–20, orc is from the Latin word orca

Definition for orc (2 of 2)


Officers' Reserve Corps.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for orc

British Dictionary definitions for orc


/ (ɔːk) /


any of various whales, such as the killer and grampus
one of an imaginary race of evil goblins, esp in the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien

Word Origin for orc

C16: via Latin orca, perhaps from Greek orux whale
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 orc



"ogre, devouring monster," Old English orcþyrs, orcneas (plural), perhaps from a Romanic source akin to ogre, and ultimately from Latin Orcus "Hell," a word of unknown origin. Revived by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) as the name of a brutal race in Middle Earth.

But Orcs and Trolls spoke as they would, without love of words or things; and their language was actually more degraded and filthy than I have shown it. ["Return of the King," 1955]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper