Definition of orb in US English:



  • 1A spherical body; a globe.

    • ‘These images are courtesy of Rebekah Ford, who managed to get much better photos of the orbs than I did.’
    • ‘She had pierced ears, too (which I didn't), displaying gold orbs which glowed in the soft light.’
    • ‘The 13 investigators used cameras and video equipment to search for ghouls on Friday night and captured images of glowing orbs and strange mists.’
    • ‘The faster the water flowed, the faster the orb rotated and not just in one direction either.’
    • ‘As it repeatedly rises from the floor to the ceiling, the big orb appears primal, hypnotic and definitely seductive.’
    • ‘Justin fired twice into the knob and was reassured as the golden orb dropped away from the door.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Each egg was carefully marked, in pencil, with the date of laying so, when the rubbery shelled orbs were extracted, a memory of summer days was present.’
    • ‘The orb, which weighs about 50 kg, would have caused serious damage if it had hit somebody.’
    • ‘When he has the orbs, he finally has the ability to get back at all the people he thinks harmed him, and is just completely driven by hate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the summit of the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey in London, 195 feet above the ground stands the goddess Justitia upon a golden orb.’
    • ‘Then the large orange blossoms appear and eventually turn into small round orbs.’
    • ‘The orb sits on your office desk and glows a quiet yellow.’
    • ‘The giant orb plopped onto the path of an oncoming ferry and bobbed around like some wayward kind of multicoloured buoy.’
    • ‘But for the dog, each and every brandishment of the fuzzy orb produces the same wondrous glee.’
    • ‘The photographs we have taken also reveal orbs of light.’
    • ‘The green orbs glimmered gently in the pale moonlight, giving off an enigmatic appearance.’
    • ‘As the white orb expanded over me, I saw another world entirely inside.’
    sphere, globe, ball, circle, ring, spheroid, spherule, round
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    1. 1.1 A golden globe surmounted by a cross, forming part of the regalia of a monarch.
      • ‘We were taught the symbolism of the orb and sceptre, a simultaneous lesson in civics and history.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Last came the delivery of the sceptre and the orb.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2literary A celestial body.
      • ‘Getting up, Sean eyed the full moon, the pale orb hiding behind a mask of clouds.’
      • ‘When the Earth is at its mean distance from the Sun, the solar orb has an apparent angular diameter of 0.533 degrees.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Giant rolling reddish clouds meandered over his head, and a pale yellow orb hung high in the sky.’
      • ‘She turned towards the door, her eyes still wide as moons and her face as pale as the orb itself.’
      celestial body, heavenly body, sun
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    3. 1.3usually orbsliterary An eyeball; an eye.
      • ‘He was gazing at me through squinting grey eyes, rather than deep brown orbs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Just by looking into those soulful orbs, I saw that this grizzled woodsman carried the weight of the modern world on his shoulders.’
      • ‘Sometimes I get busted, I blush and avert my orbs.’
      organ of sight, eyeball
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    4. 1.4Astrology A circle of up to 10° radius around the position of a celestial object.
      ‘within an orb of 1° of Mars’
      • ‘An orb of only 1 degree should be allowed for progressions.’
      • ‘The orb depends on the individual astrologer, but typically it is 6 or 8 degrees.’
      • ‘A smaller orb of 4° is similarly applied to the sextile, with 2° applied to the remaining, minor aspects.’
      • ‘A minority group of astrologers, notably the famous Marathi astrologer, Katveji recommended using tighter orbs when examining sade-sati.’
      • ‘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’.’


[with object]literary
  • 1Encircle; enclose.

    1. 1.1 Form (something) into an orb; make circular or globular.


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