orca

noun
or·​ca | \ˈȯr-kə \

Definition of orca 

Examples of orca in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Because of a unique blend of characteristics, however, orcas are particularly at risk. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "A decades-old pollutant is still threatening orca populations," 28 Sep. 2018 For instance, there isn't data on survival rates for orca calves based on their mothers' contamination. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "A decades-old pollutant is still threatening orca populations," 28 Sep. 2018 The matriarch of the southern residents J2, estimated to be perhaps as old as 100 years, making her the oldest known orca in the world, was declared dead by the end of 2017 when researchers had not seen her since October, 2016. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "‘Two guys are doing all of the work’: Southern-resident orcas’ inbreeding may devastate the population," 19 Apr. 2018 An article on Tuesday about declining orca populations misstated Brad Hanson’s position at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. New York Times, "Corrections: July 11, 2018," 10 July 2018 In the 1970s and 80s, theme parks like Sea World captured nearly 4 dozen orcas from the region, possibly shrinking the pods’ gene pool. New York Times, "Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing," 9 July 2018 Jessie Huggins, of the Cascade Research Collective in Olympia, did a full necropsy on the orca Sunday morning. Anchorage Daily News, "Whale strandings off Washington-Oregon coast highest in nearly 2 decades," 3 July 2018 As the largest dolphin species, orcas live in a matriarchal society that's relatively rare in the animal kingdom. National Geographic, "Why Humpback Whale Babies Whisper to Mom," 8 June 2018 Jessie Huggins, of the Cascade Research Collective in Olympia, did a full necropsy on the orca Sunday morning. Anchorage Daily News, "Whale strandings off Washington-Oregon coast highest in nearly 2 decades," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orca.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of orca

1726, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for orca

borrowed from New Latin, a genus name, earlier a specific epithet (Delphinus orca, Linnaeus), going back to Latin, "a marine mammal, probably Risso's dolphin," borrowed (perhaps via Etruscan) from Greek oryg-, óryx "kind of marine mammal" — more at oryx

Note: The Roman grammarian Sextus Pompeius Festus assumed that the form of the Latin word reflected a different word orca, "kind of narrow-necked earthenware vessel," from the animal's supposed resemblance to the vase.

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Dictionary Entries near orca

orby

ORC

orc

orca

Orcadian

Orcagna

orcanette

Statistics for orca

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for orca

The first known use of orca was in 1726

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orca

noun
or·​ca | \ˈȯr-kə \

Kids Definition of orca

More from Merriam-Webster on orca

Spanish Central: Translation of orca

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orca

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