OR, 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 Greek origin, as in astronomer, laborer. In general, or is annexed to words of Latin, and er to those of English origin.
OR, conj. [It seems that or is a mere contraction of other.]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. Matt. 7 and 9.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.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 supposed to be a corruption of ere.
OR, in heraldry, gold. [L. aurum.]