Definition of orca in English:


Pronunciation /ˈôrkə/ /ˈɔrkə/


  • A large toothed whale with distinctive black-and-white markings and a prominent dorsal fin. It lives in groups that cooperatively hunt fish, seals, and penguins.

    Orcinus orca, family Delphinidae

    • ‘Since 1976, whale expert Ken Balcomb has led what is perhaps the longest running study on killer whales, or orcas.’
    • ‘If you look at dolphins, orcas, and blue whales, all fully aquatic animals, you would have a hard time imagining them walking on land.’
    • ‘That forced orcas, or killer whales, which normally feed on seals and sea lions, to approach the coast and eat the sea otters.’
    • ‘Most common are bears, orcas, sea lions, seals, otters, eagles, terns and cormorants.’
    • ‘Sharks have not displayed the intelligence that dolphins, orcas or even whales have.’
    • ‘Five river dolphin species and 34 oceanic species have been identified, including the orca and melon-headed and pilot whales.’
    • ‘We take cups of coffee onto the deck to view humpback whales and pods of orcas.’
    • ‘Salmon is critical to the diets of grizzly bears and orcas, the researcher stated.’
    • ‘The release of 195 decibels into this key waterway used by orcas, porpoises, seals, and other marine mammals was followed by an increase in strandings.’
    • ‘Adult orcas have been seen encouraging their young, pushing them onto a ‘practice’ beach where no seals are present.’
    • ‘But Balcomb said he is fighting, nonetheless, to prove that sonar is dangerous to orcas too.’
    • ‘Unlike other mammals, newborn dolphins and orcas stay active 24/7 during first months of development’
    • ‘Once those prey dwindled, orcas would settle for the smaller fur seals and aggressive sea lions.’
    • ‘The area is home to orcas, dolphins, and a wealth of other marine mammals and birds.’
    • ‘The orcas prey on the indigenous Californian sea lions, which are permanent residents off the smaller islands such as Los Islotes, off the remotest corner of Espiritu Santo.’
    • ‘The prime suspect is a predator new to the otter: the orca.’
    • ‘Then potential menace turned to pure joy as two more orcas joined the first and together they porpoised toward the setting sun.’
    • ‘We jump aboard and head out full-throttle until we see a pod of orcas running down a Pacific white-sided dolphin.’
    • ‘The orcas - like those made famous by the film Free Willy - usually move in large family pods around the North Atlantic, visiting America, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Scotland on their long trek.’
    • ‘‘When the salmon go, the eagles will go, and the orcas will, too,’ Gammon cautions.’


Mid 17th century from Latin, denoting a kind of whale.



/ˈôrkə/ /ˈɔrkə/