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or1

[awr; unstressed er] /ɔr; unstressed ər/
conjunction
1.
(used to connect words, phrases, or clauses representing alternatives):
books or magazines; to be or not to be.
2.
(used to connect alternative terms for the same thing):
the Hawaiian, or Sandwich, Islands.
3.
(used in correlation):
either … or; or … or; whether … or.
4.
(used to correct or rephrase what was previously said):
His autobiography, or rather memoirs, will soon be ready for publication.
5.
otherwise; or else:
Be here on time, or we'll leave without you.
6.
Logic. the connective used in disjunction.
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English, orig. the second, unstressed member of correlative other … or, earlier other … other, Old English āther … oththe, ā-hwæther … oththe, for oththe … oththe either … or; cf. ay1, whether
Usage note

or2

[awr] /ɔr/
preposition, conjunction, Chiefly Irish, Scot., and English
1.
before; ere.
Origin
before 950; Middle English, Old English ār soon, early; cognate with Old Norse ār, Gothic air early; compare Old English ǣr soon, before, ere

or3

[awr] /ɔr/
noun
1.
the tincture, or metal, gold: represented either by gold or by yellow.
adjective
2.
of the tincture, or metal, gold:
a lion or.
Origin
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin aurum gold

OR

[awr] /ɔr/
noun
1.
a Boolean operator that returns a positive result when either or both operands are positive.
Origin
1940-45

OR

1.
Law. on (one's own) recognizance.
2.
operating room.
3.
operations research.
4.
Oregon (approved especially for use with zip code).
5.
owner's risk.

-or1

1.
a suffix occurring in loanwords from Latin, directly or through Anglo-French, usually denoting a condition or property of things or persons, sometimes corresponding to qualitative adjectives ending in -id4, (ardor; honor; horror; liquor; pallor; squalor; torpor; tremor); a few other words that originally ended in different suffixes have been assimilated to this group (behavior; demeanor; glamour).
Origin
< Latin; in some cases continuing Middle English -our < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin -ōr-, stem of -or, earlier -os
Usage note
While the -or spelling of the suffix -or1 is characteristic of American English, there are occasional exceptions, as in advertising copy, where spellings such as colour and favour seek to suggest the allure and exclusiveness of a product. The spelling glamour is somewhat more common than glamor—not actually an instance of -or1 , but conformed to it orthographically in the course of the word's history. In British English -our is still the spelling in most widespread use, -or being commonly retained when certain suffixes are added, as in coloration, honorary, honorific, laborious, odoriferous. The English of the Southern Hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) tends to mirror British practice, whereas Canadian English shares with the U.S. a preference for -or but with -our spellings as freely used variants.
The suffix -or2 is now spelled -or in all forms of English, with the exception of the word savior, often spelled saviour in the U.S. as well as in Britain, especially with reference to Jesus.

-or2

1.
a suffix forming animate or inanimate agent nouns, occurring originally in loanwords from Anglo-French (debtor; lessor; tailor; traitor); it now functions in English as an orthographic variant of -er1 , usually joined to bases of Latin origin, in imitation of borrowed Latin words containing the suffix -tor, (and its alternant -sor). The association with Latinate vocabulary may impart a learned look to the resultant formations, which often denote machines or other less tangible entities which behave in an agentlike way: descriptor; plexor; projector; repressor; sensor; tractor .
Origin
Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French -o(u)r < Latin -ōr-, stem of -or, extracted from -tōr -tor by construing the t as the ending of the past participle (hence Latin factor maker, equivalent to fac(ere) to make + -tor, was analyzed as fact(us), past participle of facere + -or); merged with Anglo-French, Old French -ëo(u)r < Latin -ātōr- -ator; cf. -eur

O.R.

1.
owner's risk.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for or

or1

/ɔː; unstressed ə/
conjunction (coordinating)
1.
used to join alternatives: apples or pears, apples or pears or cheese, apples, pears, or cheese
2.
used to join rephrasings of the same thing: to serve in the army, or rather to fight in the army, twelve, or a dozen
3.
used to join two alternatives when the first is preceded by either or whether: whether it rains or not we'll be there, either yes or no
4.
one or two, a few
5.
or else, See else (sense 3)
6.
a poetic word for either or whether as the first element in correlatives, with or also preceding the second alternative
Word Origin
C13: contraction of other, used to introduce an alternative, changed (through influence of either) from Old English oththe; compare Old High German odar (German oder)

or2

/ɔː/
conjunction
1.
(subordinating; foll by ever or ere) before; when
preposition
2.
before
Word Origin
Old English ār soon; related to Old Norse ār early, Old High German ēr

or3

/ɔː/
adjective
1.
(usually postpositive) (heraldry) of the metal gold
Word Origin
C16: via French from Latin aurum gold

OR

abbreviation
1.
operations research
2.
Oregon
3.
(military) other ranks

-or1

suffix
1.
a person or thing that does what is expressed by the verb: actor, conductor, generator, sailor
Word Origin
via Old French -eur, -eor, from Latin -or or -ātor

-or2

suffix
1.
indicating state, condition, or activity: terror, error
2.
the US spelling of -our
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 or
conj.

c.1200, from Old English conjunction oþþe "either, or," related to Old Frisian ieftha, Middle Dutch ofte, Old Norse eða, Old High German odar, German oder, Gothic aiþþau "or." This was extended in early Middle English (and Old High German) with an -r ending, perhaps by analogy with "choice between alternative" words that ended thus (e.g. either, whether), then reduced to oþþr, at first in unstressed situations (commonly thus in Northern and Midlands English by 1300), and finally reduced to or, though other survived in this sense until 16c.

The contraction took place in the second term of an alternative, such as either ... or, a common construction in Old English, where both words originally were oþþe (see nor).

-or

word-forming element making nouns of quality, state, or condition, from Middle English -our, from Old French -our (Modern French -eur), from Latin -orem (nominative -or), a suffix added to pp. verbal stems. Also in some cases from Latin -atorem (nominative -ator).

In U.S., via Noah Webster, -or is nearly universal (but not in glamour, curious, generous), while in Britain -our is used in most cases (but with many exceptions: author, error, senator, ancestor, horror etc.). The -our form predominated after c.1300, but Mencken reports that the first three folios of Shakespeare's plays used both spellings indiscriminately and with equal frequency; only in the Fourth Folio of 1685 does -our become consistent.

A partial revival of -or on the Latin model took place from 16c. (governour began to lose its -u- 16c. and it was gone by 19c.), and also among phonetic spellers in both England and America (John Wesley wrote that -or was "a fashionable impropriety" in England in 1791).

Webster criticized the habit of deleting -u- in -our words in his first speller ("A Grammatical Institute of the English Language," commonly called the Blue-Black Speller) in 1783. His own deletion of the -u- began with the revision of 1804, and was enshrined in the influential "Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language" (1806), which also established in the U.S. -ic for British -ick and -er for -re, along with many other attempts at reformed spelling which never caught on (e.g. masheen for machine). His attempt to justify them on the grounds of etymology and the custom of great writers does not hold up.

Fowler notes the British drop the -u- when forming adjectives ending in -orous (humorous) and derivatives in -ation and -ize, in which cases the Latin origin is respected (e.g. vaporize). When the Americans began to consistently spell it one way, however, the British reflexively hardened their insistence on the other. "The American abolition of -our in such words as honour and favour has probably retarded rather than quickened English progress in the same direction." [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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or in Technology

logic
The Boolean function which is true if any of its arguments are true. Its truth table is:
A | B | A OR B --+---+--------- F | F | F F | T | T T | F | T T | T | T
(1996-11-04)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Related Abbreviations for or

or

Oriya

OR

  1. open reduction
  2. operating room
  3. operations research
  4. Oregon
  5. owner's risk
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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