orca

[awr-kuh]
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Origin of orca

1865–70; < New Latin, Latin; see orc
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for orca

orca

noun plural orcas or orca
  1. a killer whale

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for orca
n.

"killer whale," introduced as a generic term for the species by 1841, from earlier use in scientific names, from Latin orca "cetacean, a kind of whale." Earlier in English, orc, ork "large whale" (c.1590), from French orque, had been used vaguely of sea monsters (see orc).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper