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Definition of "or" [or]

  • Used to indicate an alternative, usually only before the last term of a series: hot or cold; this, that, or the other. (conjunction)
  • 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. (conjunction)
  • Archaic Used to indicate the first of two alternatives, with the force of either or whether. (conjunction)
  • Used to indicate a synonymous or equivalent expression: acrophobia, or fear of great heights. (conjunction)
  • Used to indicate uncertainty or indefiniteness: two or three. (conjunction)
  • Used to join alternatives (conjunction)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Used to join rephrasings of the same thing (conjunction)
  • Used to join two alternatives when the first is preceded by either or whether (conjunction)
  • A poetic word for either or whether as the first element in correlatives, with or also preceding the second alternative (conjunction)

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Use "or" in a sentence
  • "[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."
  • "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."
  • "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."