[awr-uh-fis, or-]


an opening or aperture, as of a tube or pipe; a mouthlike opening or hole; mouth; vent.

Origin of orifice

1535–45; < Middle French < Late Latin ōrificium, equivalent to Latin ōr- (stem of ōs) mouth + -i- -i- + -fic-, combining form of facere to make, do1 (see -fic) + -ium noun suffix
Related formsor·i·fi·cial [awr-uh-fish-uh l, or-] /ˌɔr əˈfɪʃ əl, ˌɒr-/, adjective
Can be confusedoffice orifice
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for orifice

vent, cavity, spout, window, slit, mouth, outlet, crack, aperture, hole

Examples from the Web for orifice

Contemporary Examples of orifice

Historical Examples of orifice

British Dictionary definitions for orifice



mainly Technical an opening or mouth into a cavity; vent; aperture

Word Origin for orifice

C16: via French from Late Latin ōrificium, from Latin ōs mouth + facere to make
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 orifice

early 15c., from Middle French orifice "the opening of a wound" (14c.) and directly from Latin orificium "an opening," literally "mouth-making," from os (genitive oris) "mouth" (see oral) + facere "make" (see factitious). Related: Orificial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

orifice in Medicine




An opening, especially to a cavity or passage of the body; a mouth or vent.
Related formsor′i•ficial (-fĭshəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.