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late Old English orceard "fruit garden," earlier ortgeard, perhaps reduced from wortgeard, from wort "vegetable, plant root" + geard "garden, yard" (the word also meant "vegetable garden" until 15c.); see yard (n.1). First element influenced in Middle English by Latin hortus (in Late Latin ortus) "garden," which also is from the root of yard (n.1).