Meaning of OR in English

I. _ə(r), (|)ȯ(ə)r, (|)ȯ(ə), in southern US also (|)ä(r) conjunction

Etymology: Middle English other, or, from Old English oththe, oththa, eththa; akin to Old High German eddo, odo, odar or, Old Norse etha, Gothic aiththau

1. — used as a function word to indicate (1) an alternative between different or unlike things, states, or actions

wolves or bears are never seen in that part of the country

sick or well, he should not be here

eat or go hungry is all the same to him

(2) choice between alternative things, states, or courses

will you have tea or coffee

decide to study medicine or law

to be, or not to be: that is the question — Shakespeare

(3) the synonymous, equivalent, or substitutive character of two words or phrases

fell over a precipice or cliff

the off or far side

lessen or abate

(4) correction or greater exactness of phrasing or meaning

these essays, or rather rough sketches

the present king had no children — or no legitimate children — Max Peacock

(5) approximation, doubt, or uncertainty

will be Tuesday or Wednesday before he arrives

in five or six days

it's scarlet fever or diphtheria

(6) succession by turns

one or the other will watch over him all night

(7) the operation or logical connective symbolized by v or by + — compare truth table

2. archaic : either — used with a second paired or

no man can or foretoken or forefend — Walter de la Mare

3. : or else : otherwise

do what I say, or you'll suffer the consequences

pay or I'll sue

4. archaic : whether — used with a second paired or

or rich or poor — Baltimore (Md.) Sun

5. : on another occasion : as another instance : again

or , an electron may serve merely to measure — L.A.White

II. preposition

Etymology: Middle English ar, or, preposition & conjunction, from ar, or, adverb, early, earlier, before, from Old Norse ār early — more at ere

chiefly dialect : before

III. conjunction

Etymology: Middle English ar, or

1. chiefly dialect : sooner than : until , before , ere

or the porter was at the gate, the boy was in the hall — Ballad Book

2. chiefly dialect : than

IV. ˈȯ(ə)r, ˈȯ(ə) noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle French, gold, from Latin aurum — more at oriole

1. : a heraldic metal conventionally supposed to be the color of gold but in practice also represented as any of various shades of yellow

2. : the color gold or the color yellow represented in drawing or engraving by small dots — compare tincture

V. adjective

: being of the heraldic metal or : golden , yellow

VI. abbreviation

1. oriental

2. original

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.