Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A giant or monster in legends and fairy tales that eats humans.
  • n. A person who is felt to be particularly cruel, brutish, or hideous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of brutish giant from folk tales that eats human flesh.
  • n. A brutish man whose behavior resembles that of the mythical ogre.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An imaginary monster, or hideous giant of fairy tales, who lived on human beings; hence, any frightful giant; a cruel monster.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In fairy tales and popular legend, a giant or hideous monster of malignant disposition, supposed to live on human flesh; hence, one likened to or supposed to resemble such a monster.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (folklore) a giant who likes to eat human beings
  • n. a cruel wicked and inhuman person

Etymologies

French, probably ultimately from Latin Orcus, god of the underworld.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in the 18th century, from French ogre, from Latin Orcus ("god of the underworld"), from Ancient Greek Όρκος (Horkos), the personified demon of oaths (ὅρκος ("oath")) who inflicts punishment upon perjurers. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Defense of that contemptible ogre is the very farthest thing from my mind.

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  • 'I laugh because the ogre is killed!' she replied, 'and because the prince who killed it is sleeping in my house.'

    Tales of the Punjab

  • So he called the ogre and asked her of him for his wife; but the ogre said it was not his affair, for he had learned that very morning that Violet was the daughter of Cola Aniello.

    Pentamerone. English

  • They both seemed to have an "ogre" - whelmingly good time!

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  • Kafka envisioned a man transformed into a gigantic insect; Homer described the plight of men transformed into pigs; in Shrek 2 an ogre is transformed into a human being, and a donkey into a steed; in Star Trek a scheming villain forcibly occupies Captain Kirk's body so as to take command of the Enterprise; in The Tale of the Body Thief, Anne Rice tells of a vampire and a human being who agree to trade bodies for a day; and in 13 Going on 30 a teenager wakes up as thirty-year-old Jennifer Garner.

    Is God an Accident?

  • It is also rather silly to insist that the ogre was a dolt: his IQ was measured by his captors at 138, which means that he had greater analytical abilities than... well, probably most leading democratic politicians.

    Confession of a Broken Planner, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • The ogre was the most monstrous thing the Solamnic warrior had ever come across.

    The Reign of Istar

  • He explained that the ogre was a vegetarian, so would not crunch our bones.

    Question Quest

  • Now, as the ogre was a subject of the Prince's father he could not refuse him this trifling pleasure; so he offered him all the rooms in his house; if one was not enough, and his very life itself.

    Pentamerone. English

  • "When he was young and had both legs -- before something marred him; the translator said 'ogre' -- the sun was always the same brightness and the days were always the same length.

    The Ringworld Engineers

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Comments

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  • Ha ha. And his little ogles get the leftovers.

    January 1, 2008

  • That's what he would like you to believe, right up until the moment that he scoops you into his mouth, tasty morsel that you are.

    January 1, 2008

  • Ogre is a city in central Latvia.

    January 1, 2008