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[awr-uh-fis, or-] /ˈɔr ə fɪs, ˈɒr-/
an opening or aperture, as of a tube or pipe; a mouthlike opening or hole; mouth; vent.
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 forms
[awr-uh-fish-uh l, or-] /ˌɔr əˈfɪʃ əl, ˌɒr-/ (Show IPA),
Can be confused
office, orifice. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for orifices
  • The tormentor would then drop the accused onto the pyramid penetrating both orifices.
  • Miners wedge diamonds behind sweatbands, tap them into ears, and insert them in other orifices.
  • Small, scary orifices of the tunnel system open all over the island.
  • Some have all their orifices covered, which adds to the feeling of hidden, pent-up intentions and blind ambitions.
  • Namely, the installation of orifice plates in the reverse direction and the deformation of orifices in the direction of flow.
  • In an attempt to correct the problem, the plant replaced all fixed orifices with adjustable orifices.
British Dictionary definitions for orifices


(mainly Technical) an opening or mouth into a cavity; vent; aperture
Word Origin
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
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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orifices in Medicine

orifice or·i·fice (ôr'ə-fĭs)
An opening, especially to a cavity or passage of the body; a mouth or vent.

or'i·fi'cial (-fĭsh'əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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