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oracle

[awr-uh-kuh l, or-] /ˈɔr ə kəl, ˈɒr-/
noun
1.
(especially in ancient Greece) an utterance, often ambiguous or obscure, given by a priest or priestess at a shrine as the response of a god to an inquiry.
2.
the agency or medium giving such responses.
3.
a shrine or place at which such responses were given:
the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.
4.
a person who delivers authoritative, wise, or highly regarded and influential pronouncements.
5.
a divine communication or revelation.
6.
any person or thing serving as an agency of divine communication.
7.
any utterance made or received as authoritative, extremely wise, or infallible.
8.
oracles, the Scriptures.
9.
the holy of holies of the Temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem. I Kings 6:16, 19–23.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Old French < Latin ōrāculum, equivalent to ōrā(re) to plead (see oration) + -culum -cle2
Can be confused
auricle, oracle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for oracle
  • Burke is the father of modern conservatism, and still its wisest oracle.
  • But it needs to be viewed as a snapshot of the current dilemmas of policy, not as the oracle that it often aspires to be.
  • He is appointed in accordance with the behest of an oracle.
  • The oracle sensed this and decided that she was no longer fit to keep the heart.
British Dictionary definitions for oracle

oracle

/ˈɒrəkəl/
noun
1.
a prophecy, often obscure or allegorical, revealed through the medium of a priest or priestess at the shrine of a god
2.
a shrine at which an oracular god is consulted
3.
an agency through which a prophecy is transmitted
4.
any person or thing believed to indicate future action with infallible authority
5.
a statement believed to be infallible and authoritative
6.
(Bible)
  1. a message from God
  2. the holy of holies in the Israelite temple
See also oracles
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin ōrāculum, from ōrāre to request
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for oracle
n.

late 14c., "a message from a god, expressed by divine inspiration," from Old French oracle "temple, house of prayer; oracle" (12c.) and directly from Latin oraculum "divine announcement, oracle; place where oracles are given," from orare "pray, plead" (see orator), with material instrumental suffix -culo-. In antiquity, "the agency or medium of a god," also "the place where such divine utterances were given." This sense is attested in English from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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oracle in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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oracle in the Bible

In the Old Testament used in every case, except 2 Sam. 16:23, to denote the most holy place in the temple (1 Kings 6:5, 19-23; 8:6). In 2 Sam. 16:23 it means the Word of God. A man inquired "at the oracle of God" by means of the Urim and Thummim in the breastplate on the high priest's ephod. In the New Testament it is used only in the plural, and always denotes the Word of God (Rom. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, etc.). The Scriptures are called "living oracles" (comp. Heb. 4:12) because of their quickening power (Acts 7:38).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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