What word does your mother always say?


[aw-rey-shuh n, oh-rey-] /ɔˈreɪ ʃən, oʊˈreɪ-/
a formal public speech, especially one delivered on a special occasion, as on an anniversary, at a funeral, or at academic exercises.
a public speech characterized by a studied or elevated style, diction, or delivery.
Origin of oration
1325-75; Middle English oracion < Latin ōrātiōn- (stem of ōrātiō) speech, prayer, equivalent to ōrāt(us) (past participle of ōrāre to plead, derivative of ōr-, stem of ōs mouth) + -iōn- -ion
Can be confused
oration, peroration.
1. See speech. 2. discourse, declamation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for oration
  • It cannot be regarded as merely memorizing a string of words to deliver a swelling oration.
  • It's a sermon, a series of miracles and a rousing patriotic oration about the homeland.
  • The occasion for this brief oration was a traveling hip-hop festival.
  • The oration caused everyone in the court to cry, even the judge.
  • He can fix anything with a pair of pliers, a hammer, and an interesting oration in strong language.
British Dictionary definitions for oration


a formal public declaration or speech
any rhetorical, lengthy, or pompous speech
an academic exercise or contest in public speaking
Word Origin
C14: from Latin ōrātiō speech, harangue, from ōrāre to plead, pray
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for oration

late 14c., "prayer," from Late Latin orationem (nominative oratio) "a speaking, speech, discourse; language, faculty of speech, mode of expressing; prayer," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin orare "to pray, plead, speak before an assembly" (see orator). Meaning "formal speech, discourse" first recorded c.1500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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