or·​i·​fice ˈȯr-ə-fəs How to pronounce orifice (audio)
: 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
orificial adjective

Example Sentences

the mouth is a bodily orifice
Recent Examples on the Web It could be opened up through the orifice of the eyes. Harper's BAZAAR, 5 Dec. 2022 But then weeping pustules appeared all over its body, and fluids poured forth from every orifice. John Last, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Oct. 2022 The final shot shows Caleb screaming as flies crawl over his face, presumably seeking an orifice through which to enter the body and assume control. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 17 June 2022 Bad idea: Inviting schoolchildren to visit your orifice. Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2021 So, whatever got in every single orifice of my body was organic. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, 30 Nov. 2021 In another version of the story, Athena just walked out of Zeus’ head through some orifice or other. Rebecca Coffey, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 While surface transmission of covid is rare, Nelson noted that a child who touches their germy mask and then touches an orifice in their face could increase their risk of getting sick. Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2021 As yet unfamiliar with the facts of birth, the idea that something so substantial could pop out of a clearly diminutive orifice seemed preposterous. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near orifice

Cite this Entry

“Orifice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orifice. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


or·​i·​fice ˈȯr-ə-fəs How to pronounce orifice (audio)
: an opening (as a mouth or hole) through which something may pass

Medical Definition


or·​i·​fice ˈȯr-ə-fəs, ˈär- How to pronounce orifice (audio)
: an opening through which something may pass
orificial adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on orifice

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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