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[oh-ger] /ˈoʊ gər/
a monster in fairy tales and popular legend, usually represented as a hideous giant who feeds on human flesh.
a monstrously ugly, cruel, or barbarous person.
1705-15; < French; perhaps ≪ Latin Orcus Orcus
Related forms
[oh-ger-ish] /ˈoʊ gər ɪʃ/ (Show IPA),
[oh-grish] /ˈoʊ grɪʃ/ (Show IPA),
ogreishly, ogrishly, adverb
ogreism, ogrism, noun
2. fiend, tyrant, despot. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ogre
  • It also turns him into an ogre with a violent streak who sees people as food.
  • Part of the problem is that the father is too much a fairy-tale ogre.
  • The ogre is in the world of troll, the world of orc.
  • All four films cowered before the green, spindly legs of a familiar ogre.
British Dictionary definitions for ogre


(in folklore) a giant, usually given to eating human flesh
any monstrous or cruel person
Derived Forms
ogreish, adjective
ogress, noun:feminine
Word Origin
C18: from French, perhaps from Latin Orcus god of the infernal regions
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 ogre

"man-eating giant," 1713, hogre (in a translation of a French version of the Arabian Nights), from French ogre, first used in Perrault's "Contes," 1697, and perhaps formed by him from Italian orco "demon, monster," from Latin Orcus "Hades," perhaps via an Italian dialect. In English, more literary than colloquial. The conjecture that it is from Byzantine Ogur "Hungarian" or some other version of that people's name (perhaps via confusion with the bloodthirsty Huns), lacks historical evidence. Related: Ogrish; ogrishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for ogre

a hideous giant represented in fairy tales and folklore as feeding on human beings. The word gained popularity from its use in the late 17th century by Charles Perrault, the author of Contes de ma mere l'oye (Tales of Mother Goose). Since then, ogres have appeared in many works, including "Tom Thumb"; "Hansel and Gretel," where the witch is a type of ogre because she intends to eat the children; and "Little Red Riding Hood," where the wolf resembles an ogre. The Cyclops of myth and heroic literature who devours humans is a form of ogre.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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