Definition of orb in English:

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Pronunciation: /ôrb/


1A spherical body; a globe.
Example sentences
  • In the center of the vault was a pedestal, and on top of the pedestal was a spherical crystalline orb with some kind of necklace, or talisman beside it.
  • Atop the neck's silver rings was a necklace of four orbs of different color: blue, red, green and violet.
  • At the right, a turquoise orb rises above a glyphlike marking of black diamond shapes with arm-like appendages set against a purple ground.
1.1A golden globe surmounted by a cross, forming part of the regalia of a monarch.
Example sentences
  • This is a rare example of a once popular print and presents a traditional representation of the monarch with crown, orb and sceptre, the instruments of monarchical power.
  • And what should be made of the cross surmounting the orb?
  • Edward's is the first English royal seal to survive; the image of the king in majesty, enthroned with orb and sceptre, was borrowed from German models.
1.2 literary A celestial body.
Example sentences
  • When the Earth is at its mean distance from the Sun, the solar orb has an apparent angular diameter of 0.533 degrees.
  • She turned towards the door, her eyes still wide as moons and her face as pale as the orb itself.
  • But the sun was setting very early these days, and with the dense clouds overhead, that pale orb might as well not even be there.
1.3 (usually orbs) literary An eyeball; an eye.
Example sentences
  • Emma felt uneasy under the close observation of those pale blue orbs and hastily looked away.
  • She looked into his eyes again, pale grey orbs that look almost white.
  • Sometimes I get busted, I blush and avert my orbs.
1.4 Astrology A circle of up to 10° radius around the position of a celestial object: within an orb of 1° of Mars
More example sentences
  • He refers to the orbs as the circles, radiations or beams of the planets ‘through which they may be joined by either corporal conjunction or aspect’.
  • An orb of only 1 degree should be allowed for progressions.
  • A minority group of astrologers, notably the famous Marathi astrologer, Katveji recommended using tighter orbs when examining sade-sati.


[with object] literary
1.1Form (something) into an orb; make circular or globular.


Late Middle English (denoting a circle): from Latin orbis 'ring'.

  • The Latin word orbis ‘ring’ is the ancestor of orb and orbit (mid 16th century). During the Middle Ages an orb was a sphere or circle. In the early 17th century it developed the particular sense of a golden globe surmounted by a cross, forming part of the royal regalia. Orbit was originally a term for the eye socket, but the astronomical sense of the regular course of a celestial body was used as early as 1670.

Words that rhyme with orb

absorb, bedaub, daub, sorb

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: orb

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