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orb (ôrb)
Share:
n.
1. A sphere or spherical object.
2.
a. A celestial body, such as the sun or moon.
b. Archaic The earth.
3. One of a series of concentric transparent spheres thought by ancient and medieval astronomers to rotate about the earth and carry the celestial bodies.
4. A globe surmounted by a cross, used as a symbol of monarchial power and justice.
5. An eye or eyeball.
6. Archaic Something of circular form; a circle or orbit.
v. orbed, orb·ing, orbs
v.tr.
1. To shape into a circle or sphere.
2. Archaic To encircle; enclose.
v.intr.
Archaic
To move in an orbit.

[Middle English orbe, orbit, from Old French, from Latin orbis, circle, disk, orbit; see orbh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)
orb
late 12th-century German Imperial Orb of the
Holy Roman Empire

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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