[ awrk ]
See synonyms for orc on Thesaurus.com
  1. any of several cetaceans, as a grampus.

  2. a mythical monster, as an ogre.

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Origin of orc

First recorded in 1520–30; partly from Middle French orque, a kind of whale, partly from Italian orca “large whale, fabulous sea monster,” partly from Latin orca, a kind of whale; see origin at orca; see also Orcus, ogre

Words Nearby orc

Other definitions for O.R.C. (2 of 2)


  1. Officers' Reserve Corps.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use orc in a sentence

  • But with the dawn of that morning orc descended in fire, “and in the vineyards of red France appeared the light of his fury.”

    William Blake | Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • Last she calls upon orc; “Smile, son of my afflictions; arise and give our mountains joy of thy red light.”

    William Blake | Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • Of these two divinities, called in the mythology Los and Enitharmon, is born the man-child orc.

    William Blake | Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • Los embraces her, and she begets a child in her own image—a Human Shadow, who is named orc (passion).

    William Blake | Charles Gardner
  • One merely gathers, that orc releases himself in order to marry the shadowy daughter of Urthona,—Ah!

    William Blake | Irene Langridge

British Dictionary definitions for orc


/ (ɔːk) /

  1. any of various whales, such as the killer and grampus

  2. one of an imaginary race of evil goblins, esp in the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien

Origin of 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