Dictionary: OP-TA'TION – OR'A-CLE

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |


OP-TA'TION, n. [L. optatio.]

A desiring; the expression of a wish. Peacham.

OP'TA-TIVE, a. [L. optativus, from opto, to desire or wish.]

Expressing desire or wish. The optative mode, in grammar, is that form of the verb in which wish or desire is expressed.


Something to be desired. [Little used.] Bacon.

OP'TIC, or OP'TIC-AL, a. [Gr. οπτικος, from οπτομαι, to see; ωψ, the eye.]

  1. Relating or pertaining to vision or sight.
  2. Relating to the science of optics. Optic angle, is that which the optic axes of the eyes make with one another, as they tend to meet at some distance before the eyes. Optic axis, is the axis of the eye, or a line going through the middle of the pupil and the center of the eye. Encyc.

OP'TIC, n.

An organ of sight. Trumbull.

OP'TIC-AL-LY, adv.

By optics or sight.


  1. A person skilled in the science of optics. Smith.
  2. One who makes or sells optic glasses and instruments. Adams.


The science which treats of light and the phenomena of vision. Encyc.

OP'TI-MA-CY, n. [L. optimates, grandees, from optimus, best.]

The body of nobles; the nobility. Howell.

OP'TI-MISM, n. [L. optimus, best.]

The opinion or doctrine that every thing in nature is ordered for the best; or the order of things in the universe that is adapted to produce the most good. The true and amiable philosophy of optimism. Walsh. A system of strict optimism may be the real system in both cases. Paley.


One who holds the opinion that all events are ordered for the best. Stewart.


The state of being best.

OP'TION, n. [L. optio, from opto, to wish or desire.]

  1. The power of choosing; the right of choice or election; as the archbishop's option in collating to a vacant benefice. There is an option left to the United States of America, whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or contemptible and miserable, as a nation. Washington.
  2. The power of wishing; wish.
  3. Choice; election; preference. He ought not to complain of his lot; it was his own option. We leave this to your own option.


  1. Left to one's wish or choice; depending on choice or preference. It is optional with you to go or stay.
  2. Leaving something to choice. Original writs are either optional or peremptory. Blackstone.


With the privilege of choice. Dwight.

OP'U-LENCE, n. [L. opulentia, from opes, wealth.]

Wealth; riches; affluence. [Opulency is little used.] Swift.

OP'U-LENT, a. [L. opulentus.]

Wealthy; rich; affluent; having a large estate or property. Bacon. South.

OP'U-LENT-LY, adv.

Richly; with abundance or splendor.

O-PUS'CULE, n. [L. opusculum.]

A small work. – Jones.

OR, conj. [Sax. other; G. oder. It seems that or is a contraction of other. “Tell us by what auctoritie thou doest these thynges. Other who is he that gave the thys auctorite?” – Tyndale's New Testament.]

A connective that marks an alternative. “You may read or may write;” that is, you may do one of the things at your pleasure, but not both. It corresponds to either. You may either ride to London, or to Windsor. It often connects a series of words or propositions, presenting a choice of either. He may study law or medicine or divinity, or he may enter into trade. Or sometimes begins a sentence, but in this case it expresses an alternative with the foregoing sentence. – Matth. vii. and ix. In poetry, or is sometimes used for either. For thy vast bounties are so numberless, / That them or to conceal or else to tell / Is equally impossible. – Cowley. Or is often used to express an alternative of terms, definitions or explanations of the same thing in different words. Thus we say, a thing is a square, or a figure under four equal sides and angles. Or ever. In this phrase, or is a corruption of ere, Sax. aere, before; that is, before ever.

OR, n.1

A termination of Latin nouns, is a contraction of vir, a man, or from the same radix. The same word vir, is in our mother tongue, wer, and from this we have the English termination er. It denotes an agent, as in actor, creditor. We annex it to many words of English origin, as in lessor, as we do er to words of Latin and Gr. origin, as in astronomer, laborer. In general, or is annexed to words of Latin, and er to those of English origin.

OR, n.2 [Fr. or, L. aurum.]

In heraldry, gold. [Expressed in engraving, by dots. – E. H. B.]

OR'ACH, or OR'RACH, n.

A plant of the genus Atriplex, used as a substitute for spinage. Encyc. Wild orach is of the genus Chenopodium.

OR'A-CLE, n. [Fr. from L. oraculum, from oro, to utter; Sp. oraculo; It. oracolo.]

  1. Among pagans, the answer of a god or some person reputed to be a god, to an inquiry made respecting some affair of importance, usually respecting some future event, as the success of an enterprise or battle.
  2. The deity who gave or was supposed to give answers to inquiries; as, the Delphic oracle.
  3. The place where the answers were given. Encyc.
  4. Among Christians, oracles, in the plural, denotes the communications, revelations or messages delivered by God to prophets. In this sense it is rarely used in the singular; but we say, the oracles of God, divine oracles, meaning the Scriptures.
  5. The sanctuary or most holy place in the temple, in which was deposited the ark of the covenant. 1 Kings vi.
  6. Any person or place where certain decisions are obtained. Pope.
  7. Any person reputed uncommonly wise, whose determinations are not disputed, or whose opinions are of great authority.
  8. A wise sentence or decision of great authority.

OR'A-CLE, v.i.

To utter oracles. Milton.