- An example of or is saying we can go to one of two places, home or store.
- An example of or is saying that cat means the same thing as feline, cat or feline.
- introducing the second of two possibilities: beer or wine
- introducing any of the possibilities in a series, but usually used only before the last: apples or pears or plums; apples, pears, or plums
- introducing a synonymous word or phrase: botany, or the science of plants
- introducing the second of two possibilities when the first is introduced by either or whether: either go or stay; decide whether to go or stay
- Old Poet. substituted for either or whether as the first correlative: “or in the heart or in the head”
Origin of orME, in form a contr. of other, auther, either, but actually from Old English oththe (in ?ther ... oththe, either ... or)
Origin of orMiddle English from Old English ?r, variant, variety of ær, ere: see ere
Origin of orFrench from Classical Latin aurum, gold: for Indo-European base see east
- operating room
Origin of -orMiddle English -our from Old French -our, -or, -eur from Classical Latin -or, -ator a person or thing that (does a specified thing): mortgagor, incisor
Origin of -orME -our < OFr < L -or quality or condition: favor, error
- a. Used to indicate an alternative, usually only before the last term of a series: hot or cold; this, that, or the other.b. Used to indicate the second of two alternatives, the first being preceded by either or whether: Your answer is either ingenious or wrong. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.c. Archaic Used to indicate the first of two alternatives, with the force of either or whether.
- Used to indicate a synonymous or equivalent expression: acrophobia, or fear of great heights.
- Used to indicate uncertainty or indefiniteness: two or three.
Origin of orMiddle English from other or ( from Old English) ( from oththe ) and from outher ( from Old English āhwæther, āther ; see either . )
Usage Note: When all the elements in a series connected by or are singular, the verb they govern is singular: Tom or Jack is coming. Beer, ale, or wine is included in the charge. When all the elements are plural, the verb is plural. When the elements do not agree in number, some grammarians have suggested that the verb should agree in number with the nearest element: Tom or his sisters are coming. The girls or their brother is coming. Cold symptoms or headache is the usual first sign. Other grammarians, however, have argued that such constructions are inherently illogical and that the only solution is to revise the sentence to avoid the problem of agreement: Either Tom is coming or his sisters are. The usual first sign may be either cold symptoms or a headache. See Usage Note at and/or. See Usage Note at either . See Usage Note at neither. See Usage Note at nor 1.
Origin of orMiddle English variant of er from Old English ǣr soon, early and from Old Norse ār ; see ayer- in Indo-European roots.
Origin of orMiddle English from Old French from Latin aurum
- operating room
- operations research
Origin of -orMiddle English -or, -our from Old French -eor, -eur Anglo-Norman -our, -ur all from Latin -or -ōr-
Origin of -orMiddle English -our from Old French -eur from Latin -or -ōr-
- (law) Oregon, as used in case citations.