or Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “or” - English Dictionary

"or" in American English

See all translations

orconjunction

 us   /ɔr, ər/
  • or conjunction (POSSIBILITIES)

used to ​connect different ​possibilities: Is today ​Tuesday or ​Wednesday? You can get that ​blouse in ​blue, ​gray, or ​white. There were ten or twelve ​people in the ​room (= ​approximately that ​number of ​people). We’d ​better make a ​decisionsoon or the ​wholedeal will ​fall through.
After a ​negativeverb, or can also ​continue the ​negativemeaning of the ​verb: He won’t ​eatmeat or ​fish (= and will not ​eatfish either).
  • or conjunction (EXPLAIN)

used to show that a word or phrase ​means the same as, or ​explains or corrects, another word or phrase: Photons, or ​individualparticles of ​light, ​travelhugedistances in ​space. Things were going well, or ​seemed to be, but the ​relationship had already ​begun to ​change.
Idioms

ORnoun [C]

 us   /ˈoʊˈɑr/
abbreviation foroperatingroom
(Definition of or from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"or" in British English

See all translations

orconjunction

uk   strong /ɔːr/ weak /ər/  us   /ɔːr/  /ɚ/
  • or conjunction (POSSIBILITIES)

A1 used to ​connect different ​possibilities: Is it ​Tuesday or ​Wednesday today? You can ​pay now or when you come back to ​pick up the ​paint. Are you ​listening to me or not? The ​patent was ​granted in (either) 1962 or 1963 - I can't ​quiteremember which. It doesn't ​matter whether you ​win or ​lose - it's taking ​part that's ​important. There were ten or twelve (= ​approximately that ​number of)people in the ​room. He was just ​kidding - or was he (= but it is ​possible that he was not)?
A2 used after a ​negativeverb to ​mean not one thing and also not another: The ​child never ​smiles or ​laughs.
Compare

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

expend iconexpend icon Thesaurus

  • or conjunction (IF NOT)

B1 if not: You should ​eat more, or you'll make yourself ​ill.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

expend iconexpend icon Thesaurus

  • or conjunction (EXPLAIN)

B2 used to show that a word or phrase ​means the same as, or ​explains, ​limits, or ​corrects, another word or phrase: Rosalind, or Roz to her ​friends, took the ​initiative. Things have been going very well ​recently. Or they were, until two ​days ago.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • I'll do it ​later. Or, at least I'll ​try to do it.
  • Football, or ​soccer as it's sometimes called, is very ​popular in the ​country.

ORnoun

uk   /ˌəʊˈɑːr/  us   /ˌoʊˈɑːr/
  • OR noun (IN HOSPITAL)

[C] US abbreviation for operating room
  • OR noun (ADDRESS)

written abbreviation for the US ​state of Oregon: used in ​addresses
(Definition of or from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"OR" in Business English

See all translations

ORnoun [U]

uk   us  
WORKPLACE, MANAGEMENT →  operations research
(Definition of OR from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of or?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
by ,
April 27, 2016
by Liz Walter If you are a learner of English and you are confused about the words there, their and they’re, let me reassure you: many, many people with English as their first language share your problem! You only have to take a look at the ‘comments’ sections on the website of, for example, a popular

Read More 

Word of the Day

cracker

a thin, flat, hard biscuit, especially one eaten with cheese

Word of the Day

bio-banding noun
bio-banding noun
April 25, 2016
in sport, grouping children according to their physical maturity rather than their age ‘When we’re grouping children for sports, we do it by age groups, but the problem is that, within those age groups, we get huge variations in biological age,’ said Dr Sean Cumming, senior lecturer at the University of Bath’s department for

Read More