\ ər, ˈȯr How to pronounce or (audio) , Southern also ˈär \

Definition of or

 (Entry 1 of 8)

1 used as a function word to indicate an alternative coffee or teasink or swim , the equivalent or substitutive character of two words or phrases lessen or abate , or approximation or uncertainty in five or six days
2 archaic : either
3 archaic : whether
4 used in logic as a sentential connective that forms a complex sentence which is true when at least one of its constituent sentences is true — compare disjunction

Definition of or (Entry 2 of 8)

: before

Definition of or (Entry 3 of 8)

: before
\ ˈȯr How to pronounce or (audio) \

Definition of or (Entry 4 of 8)

: the heraldic color gold or yellow
\ ˈȯr How to pronounce OR (audio) \

Definition of OR (Entry 5 of 8)

: a logical operator that requires at least one of two inputs to be present or conditions to be met for an output to be made or a statement to be executed OR gate in a computer

Definition of OR (Entry 6 of 8)

1 operating room
2 operational research; operations research
3 Oregon
4 owner's risk
5 own recognizance

Definition of -or (Entry 7 of 8)

: one that does a (specified) thing grantor

Definition of -or (Entry 8 of 8)

: condition : activity demeanor

First Known Use of or

Conjunction (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined above

Conjunction (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1947, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for or

Conjunction (1) and Noun (2)

Middle English, alteration of other, alteration of Old English oththe; akin to Old High German eddo or


Middle English, from or, adverb, early, before, from Old Norse ār; akin to Old English ǣr early — more at ere

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, gold, from Latin aurum — more at aureus

Noun suffix (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French -ur, -our, -eour & Latin -or; Anglo-French -ur, -our, from Latin -or; Anglo-French -eour, from Latin -ator, from -a-, verb stem + -tor, agent suffix; akin to Greek -tōr, agent suffix, Sanskrit -tā

Noun suffix (2)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin

Learn More About or

Time Traveler for or

Time Traveler

The first known use of or was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near or

Oquirrh Mountains



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Statistics for or

Cite this Entry

“Or.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/or. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for or


\ ər How to pronounce or (audio) , ˈȯr \

Kids Definition of or

used between words or phrases that are choices juice or milkWill you leave or stay?



Kids Definition of OR



noun suffix
\ ər \

Kids Definition of -or

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: someone or something that does a specified thing actor elevator


noun suffix

Kids Definition of -or (Entry 2 of 4)

: condition : activity demeanor



Medical Definition of OR

operating room



Legal Definition of OR

own recognizance

More from Merriam-Webster on or

Nglish: Translation of or for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of or for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about or


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