before 900; conflation of Middle Englishore,Old Englishōra ore, unreduced metal; and Middle Englishor(e) ore, metal, Old Englishār brass, cognate with Old Saxon,Old High Germanēr,Old Norseeir,Gothicaiz; compare Latinaes bronze, coin, money
12c., merger of O.E. ora "ore, unworked metal" (related to ear "earth"); and O.E. ar "brass, copper, bronze," from P.Gmc. *ajiz- (cf. O.N. eir "brass, copper," Ger. ehern "brazen," Goth. aiz "bronze"), from PIE *aus- "gold" (cf. Skt. ayah "metal," Avestan ayo, L. aes "brass"). The two words were not fully assimilated till 17c.; what emerged has the form of ar but the meaning of ora.