Skip to main content
Select Source:

Orinoco

Orinoco (ōrēnō´kō), river of Venezuela, estimated to be from 1,500 to 1,700 mi (2,410–2,735 km) long. Rising near Mt. Delgado Chalbaud in the Guiana Highlands, S Venezuela, the Orinoco flows in a wide arc through tropical rain forests and savannas (llanos), forming part of the Venezuela–Colombia border, and enters the Atlantic Ocean through a large marshy delta (c.7,800 sq mi/20,200 sq km) in NE Venezuela. One of South America's longest rivers, it and its branches drain an extensive basin; the Apure River is its chief tributary. The Orinoco is joined to the Amazon system by the Casiquiare, a natural canal. The huge flow of the Orinoco varies markedly with the season.

Divided into upper and lower courses by the Ature and Maipures cataracts, the river is navigable for most of its length. Dredging permits oceangoing vessels to reach Ciudad Bolívar, c.270 mi (435 km) upstream. The major cities on the river are Ciudad Bolívar and Ciudad Guayana, which developed in an industrial zone in the late 1960s; the river is now crossed by large bridges at both cities.

Christopher Columbus probably discovered the mouth of the Orinoco in 1498, and Lope de Aguirre, the Spanish adventurer, seems to have traveled most of its length in 1560. In 1799, Alexander von Humboldt, the German naturalist, explored the upper reaches, but it was not until 1944 that an aerial expedition sighted the source area in the remote highlands. Further explorations in 1951 and 1956 located two rivulets now considered the headwaters.

See H. Acebes, Orinoco Adventure (1954).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Orinoco." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Orinoco." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/orinoco

"Orinoco." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/orinoco

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Orinoco

Orinoco River in Venezuela. Rising in the Sierra Parima in s Venezuela, it flows nw to Colombia, then n, forming part of the Venezuela-Colombia border, and finally e into the Atlantic Ocean by a vast delta. Length: c.2062km (1281mi).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Orinoco." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Orinoco." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/orinoco

"Orinoco." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/orinoco

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Orinoco

Orinocotacho, taco, tobacco, wacko •blanco, Franco •churrasco, fiasco, Tabasco •Arco, Gran Chaco, mako •art deco, dekko, echo, Eco, El Greco, gecko, secco •flamenco, Lysenko, Yevtushenko •alfresco, fresco, Ionesco •Draco, shako •Biko, Gromyko, pekoe, picot, Puerto Rico, Tampico •sicko, thicko, tricot, Vico •ginkgo, pinko, stinko •cisco, disco, Disko, Morisco, pisco, San Francisco •zydeco • magnifico • calico • Jellicoe •haricot • Jericho • Mexico • simpatico •politico • portico •psycho, Tycho •Morocco, Rocco, sirocco, socko •bronco •Moscow, roscoe •Rothko •coco, cocoa, loco, moko, Orinoco, poco, rococo •osso buco • Acapulco •Cuzco, Lambrusco •bucko, stucco •bunco, junco, unco •guanaco • Monaco • turaco • Turco

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Orinoco." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Orinoco." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/orinoco

"Orinoco." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/orinoco

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.