Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • conj. Used to indicate an alternative, usually only before the last term of a series: hot or cold; this, that, or the other.
  • conj. Used to indicate the second of two alternatives, the first being preceded by either or whether: Your answer is either ingenious or wrong. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
  • conj. Archaic Used to indicate the first of two alternatives, with the force of either or whether.
  • conj. Used to indicate a synonymous or equivalent expression: acrophobia, or fear of great heights.
  • conj. Used to indicate uncertainty or indefiniteness: two or three.
  • conj. Before. Followed by ever or ere: "I doubt he will be dead or ere I come” ( Shakespeare).
  • prep. Before.
  • n. Heraldry Gold, represented in heraldic engraving by a white field sprinkled with small dots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The gold or yellow tincture on a coat of arms.
  • adj. Of gold or yellow tincture on a coat of arms.
  • adv. Early (on).
  • adv. Earlier, previously.
  • prep. Before; ere.
  • conj. Connects at least two alternative words, phrases, clauses, sentences, etc. each of which could make a passage true. In English, this is the "inclusive or." The "exclusive or" is formed by "either...or".
  • conj. Logical union of two sets of values. There are two forms, an exclusive or and an inclusive or.
  • conj. Counts the elements before and after as two possibilities.
  • conj. otherwise; a consequence of the condition that the previous is false
  • conj. Connects two equivalent names.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • conj. A particle that marks an alternative. It corresponds to either. It often connects a series of words or propositions, presenting a choice of either.
  • prep. Ere; before; sooner than.
  • n. Yellow or gold color, -- represented in drawing or engraving by small dots.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Either; else; otherwise; as an alternative or substitute.
  • There may be several alternatives each joined to the preceding one by or, presenting a choice between any two in the series: as, he may study law or medicine or divinity, or he may enter into trade. The correlations are — Either … or (in archaic or poetical use also or … or).
  • Whether … or (rarely or … or), in indirect questions.
  • A conjunction coördinating two or more words or clauses each of which in turn is regarded as an equivalent of the other or others. Thus, we say of a particular diagram that it is a square, or a figure with four equal sides and equal angles.
  • [Or sometimes begins a sentence, in this case expressing an alternative with the foregoing sentence, or merely a transition to some fresh argument or illustration.
  • Before; previously; already.
  • Before; ere; sooner than; rather than: as, or this (before this); or long (before long).
  • Before; ere.
  • Sooner than; rather than.
  • Than.
  • Lest.
  • n. In heraldry, one of the tinctures — the metal gold, often represented by a yellow color, and in engraving conventionally by dots upon a white ground. See tincture, and cuts under counter-changed and counter-compony.
  • A Middle English form of your.
  • A Middle English form of her (their).
  • An apparent suffix, the terminus of the suffix -tor, -sor, of Latin origin, forming nouns of agent from verbs.
  • A termination (apparent suffix) of Latin origin, contracted through Old French from an original Latin -ator.
  • A suffix of some nouns of Latin origin, either abstract, as in odor, horror, terror, honor, etc., or concrete, as in arbor, a tree, etc. It is not felt or used as an English formative.
  • A suffix of Latin origin appearing in comparatives, used in English with a distinct comparative use, as in the adjectives major, minor, junior, senior, prior, but also commonly in nouns, as major, minor, prior, junior, senior, etc. It is not felt or used as an English formative.
  • A prefix of Anglo-Saxon origin, appearing unrecognized as a prefix and with no separate significance in ordeal, ort, and a few other words now obsolete.
  • An abbreviation of oriental; of Oregon.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a room in a hospital equipped for the performance of surgical operations
  • n. a state in northwestern United States on the Pacific

Etymologies

Middle English, from other, or (from Old English, from oththe) and from outher (from Old English āhwæther, āther; see either).
Middle English, variant of er, from Old English ǣr, soon, early, and from Old Norse ār.
Middle English, from Old French, from Latin aurum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French or ("yellow"), from Latin aurum ("gold") (Wiktionary)
Late Old English ār, from Scandinavian (compare Old Norse ár). Compare ere. (Wiktionary)
Old English oþþe. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • [CSA] _No slave or other_ person held to service or labor _in any State or Territory of the Confederate States_, under the laws thereof, escaping _or lawfully carried_ into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party _to whom such slave belongs, or_ to whom such service or labor may be due.

    The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government

  • Consumers who purchased any of the recalled OTC drugs are advised to stop using them and to contact McNeil Consumer Healthcare for instructions on a refund or replacement by logging onto the Web site or  by calling 1-888-222-6036.

    Tylenol expands recent recall to include other OTC medications

  • I think one could make a stronger argument that World or Warcraft, Farmville, the lottery, Rolex's ..or GWAPs are more exploitative because they utilize psychological tricks to extract money/labor from people who may not realize they are at some subconscious level being involuntarily manipulated.

    Work and the Internet

  • If this recall affects you, and you still need a medication to ease the symptoms of your arthritis, consider a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen (Advil or  generic) or naproxen (Aleve or generic), which may work as well or even better than acetaminophen (Tylenol or generic).

    Tylenol arthritis pain reliever recalled; what to do

  •         — Writing yourself a note and putting the note where you will see it when you leave the vehicle;         — Placing your purse, briefcase or something else you need in the back seat so that you will have to check the back seat when you leave the vehicle; or        — Keeping an object in the car seat, such as a stuffed toy.

    A cautionary tale for harried parents: Check the back seat

  • Among the items that you cannot sell: Toys and other articles  intended  for  use  by  children, or any  furniture,   with  paint  or  other  surface  coatings  containing  lead  over  specified  amounts.

    Recalls risky for tag sale buyers and sellers

  • According to the FDA, some of the products claim to be “natural,” or  “herbal,” but actually contain one or more potentially dangerous controlled substance not listed on the label.

    More weight-loss supplements added to FDA warning list

  • Of course, if you do say you have X skills which your other candidates don't have, there's the possibility you come off as either arrogant or over-qualified, unless you can justify the skill for the job and it really is a rare skill..or they may turn out to have other candidates with the skill that you think no-one else at that interview has.

    Negotiate Your Salary More Effectively | Lifehacker Australia

  • I think Fickr has the best format of adding a friend, more control more information, and through the persons choice of groups you know exactly what kind of contact you are adding it is your headache after that..at Flickr I dont add people without a profile or an avatar, I dont add people into porn or semi porn groups..or religious mindset of hate..even if he is from my community or faith.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • I had a tough time shooting this series , I dont have such a tough time during any event not even Moharam where I am a whisker away from swords and flying flagellating blades ..or the 18 feet sharp rods of the Maryamma disciples or when I walk on fire during Ag Ka Matam.

    Archive 2009-09-01

Comments

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  • In computer science, a logical operator often expressed as a pipe character ("|"), two pipe characters, or the string literal "or".

    November 8, 2008

  • It's hard to find a good citation for 'or' as a verb, but Googling produces quite a few cases of 'ORed together' or 'OR'd together'—as in, having the logical operator applied to make a combination.

    July 24, 2008

  • In heraldry, it's or. My understanding is many medieval heraldry terms were bastardized from middle French.

    Here's what the OED says:
    Etymology: derived from Anglo-Norman and Middle French, French or gold (9th cent. in Old French, earliest in fig. sense ‘wealth, riches’), derived from classical Latin aurum gold (see AURO-).
    1. Gold (the metallic element). Obs. rare.
    1437 Rolls of Parl. IV. 503/2 It be lefull to the Maire and Citezeins of ye Citee of Lincoln..to shipp..lx sakkes of Wolle, withoute any Subsidee of the said v Nobles of or.
    2. Heraldry. Gold or yellow in armorial blazoning. One of the two metals, the other being argent.

    February 5, 2007

  • Are you sure this is the spelling? In Latin, gold is "aurum" and in spanish, "oro", so this is probably a bastardized version of those.

    February 5, 2007

  • a very useful conjunction indeed. Also used in medieval heraldry to indicate the color gold.

    February 4, 2007