Definitions

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

  • n. An opening, especially to a cavity or passage of the body; a mouth or vent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mouth or aperture, as of a tube, pipe, etc.; an opening; as,

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mouth or aperture, as of a tube, pipe, etc.; an opening

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An opening; a mouth or aperture, as of a tube, pipe, or other similar object; a perforation; a vent.
  • n. See the adjectives.

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

  • n. an aperture or hole that opens into a bodily cavity

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin ōrificium : Latin ōs, ōr-, mouth; + Latin -ficium, a making, doing (from facere, to make).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin orificium ("an opening, literally the making of a mouth"), compound of os ("mouth") + facere ("to make") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Whenever I say the word orifice, I feel like a mix between a 13 yo boy and Beavis and Butthead - Say it with me - She said orifice, huh huh, orifice; yeah, orifice.

    Gross Words - Part II

  • If Mitch McConnell ever stopped short James Inhofes head would disappear into a certain orifice.

    Inhofe comes out against Kagan

  • An irregular section of the wall (nothing was ever square, flat, vertical or exactly smooth around here) disappeared up and back rather like the cover of a rolltop desk, and as if the orifice were a comic mouth thrusting out a broad tongue, a kind of board slid outward.

    Arcana Magi - c.1: Oryn Zentharis, Seeker of the Truth

  • The difference in B.t. u. in a pound of steam at the boiler pressure and after passing the orifice is the heat available for evaporating the moisture content and superheating the steam.

    Steam, Its Generation and Use

  • The opening of the external acoustic meatus is exposed by drawing the tragus forward; at the orifice are a few short crisp hairs which serve to prevent the entrance of dust or of small insects; beyond this the secretion of the ceruminous glands serves to catch any small particles which may find their way into the meatus.

    XII. Surface Anatomy and Surface Markings. 2. Surface Markings of Special Regions of the Head and Neck

  • It is a projecting knob, like a bung closing an orifice, which is believed to conceal a cavern where the redoubtable captain placed a few barrels of his wealth.

    Myths and Legends of Our Own Land — Volume 09 : as to buried treasure

  • The auricles communicate with the ventricles each by a large aperture, the auriculo-ventricular orifice, which is furnished with a remarkable mechanism of valves, allowing the transmission of blood from the auricles into the ventricles, but preventing a reverse course.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

  • My notes contain memoranda of various galleries crammed with pieces of leaves right up to the orifice, which is on a level with the ground, and entirely devoid of cells, even of an unfinished one.

    Bramble-Bees and Others

  • When the store has been taken in, this accessory orifice, which is used only during the last few moments, is closed with a mouthful of mortar, thrust outward from within.

    More Hunting Wasps

  • Enlightened by these observations and informed of the shape, the number and the arrangement of the eggs, I searched the galleries of the Anthophoræ for those which the Sitares had laid there and invariably found them gathered in a heap inside the galleries, at a distance of an inch or two from the orifice, which is always open to the outer world.

    The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles

Comments

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  • Used as a technical term for the opening through which spun yarn passes onto a spinning wheel. See also orifice hook.

    November 20, 2010