[ awr-kuh ]
See synonyms for orca on Thesaurus.com
  1. the killer whale, Orcinus orca.

Origin of orca

First recorded in 1650–60; from New Latin, former taxonomic name, from Latin, a kind of whale, perhaps a grampus, from Greek óryga (accusative of óryx ), a kind of large fish, perhaps a narwhal. The g became c under the influence of Latin orca, a kind of large earthenware vessel with a narrow neck; see orc

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British Dictionary definitions for orca


/ (ˈɔːkə) /

nounplural orcas or orca
  1. a killer whale

Origin of orca

C20: Latin

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