Definitions for orɔr; unstressed ər

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word or

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

or*ɔr; unstressed ər(conj.)

  1. (used to connect words, phrases, or clauses representing alternatives):

    to be or not to be.

    Category: Function Word

  2. (used to connect alternative terms for the same thing):

    the Hawaiian, or Sandwich, Islands.

    Category: Function Word

  3. (used in correlation):

    Either we go now or wait till tomorrow.

    Category: Function Word

  4. (used to correct or rephrase what was previously said):

    His autobiography, or rather memoirs, will be published soon.

    Category: Function Word

  5. otherwise; or else:

    Be here on time, or we'll leave without you.

    Category: Common Vocabulary, Function Word

  6. Logic. the connective used in disjunction.

    Category: Common Vocabulary, Philosphy

* Usage: See and/or, either.

Origin of or:

1150–1200; ME; cf. ay1, whether

or*ɔr(prep.; conj.)

  1. before; ere.

    Category: British, Scottish

* Archaic..

Origin of or:

bef. 950; ME, OE ār soon


  1. the heraldic color yellow or gold.

    Category: Heraldry

Origin of or:

1400–50; late ME < MF < L aurum gold


  1. a Boolean operator that returns a positive result when either or both operands are positive.

    Category: Computers

Origin of OR:



  1. operating room.

  2. operations research.

  3. Oregon.


  1. a suffix occurring in loanwords from Latin, directly or through Anglo-French, usu. denoting a condition or property of things or persons, sometimes corresponding to qualitative adjectives ending in -id4 (honor; horror; liquor; pallor); a few other words that orig. ended in different suffixes have been assimilated to this group (behavior; demeanor; glamour).

    Category: Affix, Usage Note

* Usage: The -or spelling of the suffix -or1 is characteristic of American English, with occasional exceptions. In British English -our is still the most common spelling, -or often being retained when certain suffixes are added, as in coloration, honorary, and laborious. The English of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa tends to mirror British practice, whereas Canadian English is about equally divided between U.S. and British forms.―The suffix -or2 is now spelled -or in all forms of English, except for the word savior, once often spelled saviour in the U.S. as in Britain, esp. with reference to Jesus. But the official spelling of Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Methodists is now savior ; saviour is now only British.

Origin of -or:

< L; in some cases continuing ME -our < AF, OF < L -ōr-, s. of -or, earlier -os


  1. a suffix forming animate or inanimate agent nouns, occurring orig. in loanwords from Anglo-French (debtor; tailor; traitor); it now functions in English as an orthographic variant of -er1, usu. joined to bases of Latin origin, in imitation of borrowed Latin words containing the suffix -tor (and alternant -sor). Resultant formations often denote machines or less tangible entities that behave in an agentlike way:

    projector; repressor; sensor; tractor.

    Category: Affix

* Usage: See -or1.

Origin of -or:

ME < AF, OF -o(u)r < L -ōr; cf. -eur

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Oregon, Beaver State, OR(noun)

    a state in northwestern United States on the Pacific

  2. operating room, OR, operating theater, operating theatre, surgery(noun)

    a room in a hospital equipped for the performance of surgical operations

    "great care is taken to keep the operating rooms aseptic"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. or(conjunction)ɔr

    indicates the different possibilities

    We could have fish or chicken for dinner.; I haven't decided whether to go abroad or stay home.; We can either call him now or wait till later.

  2. orɔr

    indicates that a negative statement also relates to sb or sth else

    She's doesn't like mushrooms or onions.

  3. orɔr

    indicates a change or correction to what has just been stated

    The work's done now, or almost done.

  4. orɔr

    indicates a consequence

    Eat all your dinner, or you won't have dessert.

  5. orɔr

    indicates a reason

    She must be coming, or she would have called to cancel.


  1. OR(Noun)

    The binary operator inclusive or, true if one at least one of two inputs is true. In infix notation, it has values

  2. OR(Conjunction)

    Inclusive or; either one proposition or the other is true or both.

  3. OR(Conjunction)

    A lexical symbol to implement inclusive or in a computer language.

  4. OR(Conjunction)

    A logical gate to implement inclusive or.

  5. OR(Abbreviation)

    Oregon, a state of the United States of America.

  6. OR(Abbreviation)

    Orissa, a state of India.

  7. OR(Abbreviation)

    Olympic Record

  8. Origin: oþþe.


  1. Or

    In heraldry, Or is the tincture of gold and, together with argent, belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals". In engravings and line drawings, it may be represented using a field of evenly spaced dots. It is very frequently depicted as yellow, though gold leaf was used in many illuminated manuscripts and more extravagant rolls of arms. The word gold is occasionally used in place of Or in blazon, sometimes to prevent repetition of the word Or in a blazon, or because this substitution was in fashion when the blazon was first written down, or when it is preferred by the officer of arms. Or is frequently spelt with a capital letter so as not to confuse it with the conjunction or. Or is said to represent the following: ⁕Of jewels, the topaz ⁕Of heavenly bodies, the Sun ⁕Of metals, gold ⁕Of virtues, Faith or obedience and gentility

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'or' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #33

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'or' in Written Corpus Frequency: #54

Anagrams of or

  1. RO

Translations for or

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


used to show an alternative

Is that your book or is it mine?

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