• synonyms


[awr-uh-fis, or-]
  1. an opening or aperture, as of a tube or pipe; a mouthlike opening or hole; mouth; vent.
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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. 2018

Related Words for orifices

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

Examples from the Web for orifices

Historical Examples of orifices

  • The sexes are united, and the orifices situated on the right side of the neck.

    The Ocean World:

    Louis Figuier

  • There is not a trace of murmur to be found in connection with the valves and orifices.

  • The animal is attached, the body coriaceous, and the orifices four-lobed.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • All are situated about the orifices of the follicles and glands of the skin.

  • Some of the orifices of this labyrinth of passages were left exposed by the low tides.

British Dictionary definitions for orifices


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



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

orifices in Medicine


  1. An opening, especially to a cavity or passage of the body; a mouth or vent.
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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.