or·​i·​fice | \ ˈȯr-ə-fəs How to pronounce orifice (audio) , ˈär- \

Definition of orifice

: an opening (such as a vent, mouth, or hole) through which something may pass an anatomical orifice the nozzle orifice the cone built up from the cinders around the eruption orifice— R. H. Mohlenbrock

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Other Words from orifice

orificial \ ˌȯr-​ə-​ˈfi-​shəl How to pronounce orifice (audio) , ˌär-​ \ adjective

Examples of orifice in a Sentence

the mouth is a bodily orifice
Recent Examples on the Web Trees, of course, wouldn’t fare too well near Old Faithful’s orifice if the geyser was regularly showering 200-plus-degree water into the air and onto the ground. Mike Koshmrl, chicagotribune.com, "Study: Climate change could interrupt Yellowstone geysers," 26 Oct. 2020 Shooting water out of one single orifice — rather than, say, via a pressure regulator and through dozens of tiny silicone jets — the Classic Plus is virtually clogproof. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "The best shower heads of 2020," 11 Sep. 2020 The heat exchanger and the orifice, which controls the flow of gas, may also need cleaning. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, "Condo HVAC unit still needs to be serviced twice a year," 10 Aug. 2020 The moist orifice of a wound opened up and took the form of a small bullet hole. Brendan Borrell, The Atlantic, "Australia Has a Flesh-Eating-Bacteria Problem," 3 July 2020 Rolls of cotton batting are in ready supply in funeral homes: Embalmers normally pack it into orifices to prevent seepage and to give faces a fuller, more life-like appearance. Victor Llorente, Popular Mechanics, "Inside a New York City Funeral Home’s Mission to Keep Bodies Out of Mass Graves," 24 Apr. 2020 The mouth is never a mere orifice, but the seat of an individual’s voice. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Masks for Coronavirus Will Not Last Long in the West," 30 Mar. 2020 The orifices are swabbed with disinfectant and plugged during the embalming process,a process that's that has been in place since long before COVID-19. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Funeral directors navigate preparing for dead, and remembering them, amid COVID-19," 19 Mar. 2020 As a dead person's body can still expel air from the lungs or fluids from the mouth or eyes during handling, proper covering of those orifices is important. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Funeral directors navigate preparing for dead, and remembering them, amid COVID-19," 19 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orifice.' 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 orifice

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for orifice

Middle English, from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin orificium, from Latin or-, os mouth + facere to make, do — more at oral, do

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Time Traveler for orifice

Time Traveler

The first known use of orifice was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Orifice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orifice. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of orifice

formal : a hole or opening and especially one in your body (such as your mouth, ear, nostril, etc.)


or·​i·​fice | \ ˈȯr-ə-fəs, ˈär- How to pronounce orifice (audio) \

Medical Definition of orifice

: an opening through which something may pass

Other Words from orifice

orificial \ ˌȯr-​ə-​ˈfish-​əl, ˌär-​ How to pronounce orifice (audio) \ adjective

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