Orcas, also called killer whales, are actually members of the dolphin family. Orcas hunt in cooperative groups called pods and have distinctive black and white coloring.

Orcas are familiar animals to many people from popular culture and a time period (most of the 20th century) when it was common to keep them in captivity. For many years, it was possible to visit an aquarium and see orcas perform tricks. Movies like "Free Willy" popularized orcas and also helped build opposition to keeping orcas captive. The name orca comes from the Latin name for their genus. Earlier, mythical sea monsters were commonly called orc.

Definitions of orca
  1. noun
    predatory black-and-white toothed whale with large dorsal fin; common in cold seas
    synonyms: Orcinus orca, grampus, killer, killer whale, sea wolf
    see moresee less
    type of:
    any of various small toothed whales with a beaklike snout; larger than porpoises
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘orca'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up orca for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer