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[awrb] /ɔrb/
a sphere or globe:
a Christmas tree hung with brightly colored orbs.
the eyeball or eye:
He looks with blind orbs on an indifferent world.
any of the heavenly bodies, as the sun or moon:
He lay on the grass, warmed by that orb of day, the sun.
a globe bearing a cross; the mound or emblem of sovereignty, especially as part of the regalia of England.
Astrology. the number of degrees from exactness within which an aspect operates.
a circle or something circular.
Astronomy. (formerly) the orbit of a heavenly body.
the earth.
verb (used with object)
to form into a circle or sphere.
Archaic. to encircle; enclose.
verb (used without object)
to move in an orbit.
to form into an orb or globe; round out.
Origin of orb
1520-30; < Latin orbis circle, disk, orb
Related forms
orbless, adjective
orblike, adjective
unorbed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for orb
  • Some silk made by orb weaver spiders rivals the tensile strength of steel.
  • The great voyages of discovery shrank our planet from a fearsome void to a familiar orb.
  • The orb sits on your office desk and glows a quiet yellow.
  • Although the orb is lovely, it is the people and their shapes that make this an interesting picture.
  • Suddenly he was floating inside a red orb, and the camera pulled back to reveal that orb clenched between my fingers.
  • Weavers of orb webs use it as a way to detect the presence of insect prey in the web.
  • The company's orb of a display stand featured a circular track.
  • The golden orb appears a little higher in the sky than it really is.
  • The little orb veered to the right, slammed into the trunk of a red maple, and ricocheted into a clump of woods.
  • About midnight the fading sun is a red orb banging at the horizon.
British Dictionary definitions for orb


(in royal regalia) an ornamental sphere surmounted by a cross, representing the power of a sovereign
a sphere; globe
(poetic) another word for eye1
(obsolete or poetic)
  1. a celestial body, esp the earth or sun
  2. the orbit of a celestial body
an archaic word for circle
to make or become circular or spherical
(transitive) an archaic word for encircle
Word Origin
C16: from Latin orbis circle, disc
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
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Word Origin and History for orb

mid-15c., "sphere, globe, something spherical or circular," from Old French orbe "orb, globe" (13c.) and directly from Latin orbem (nominative orbis) "circle, disk, ring, hoop, orbit," probably related to orbita "wheel track, rut," of unknown origin. Watkins suggests a connection with the root of orchid.

A three-dimensional extension of a word originally describing two-dimensional shapes. Astronomical sense is in reference to the hollow spheres that carried the planets and stars in the Ptolemaic system. As a verb from c.1600. Orb weaver spider is first recorded 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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orb in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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