late 14c., "one who pleads or argues for a cause," from Anglo-Fr. oratour, from O.Fr. orateur (14c.), from L. oratorem (nom. orator) "speaker," from orare "speak before a court or assembly, plead," from PIE base *or- "to pronounce a ritual formula" (cf. Skt. aryanti "they praise," Homeric Gk. are, Attic ara "prayer," Hittite ariya- "to ask the oracle," aruwai- "to revere, worship"). Meaning "public speaker" is attested from early 15c.
the rationale and practice of persuasive public speaking. It is immediate in its audience relationships and reactions, but it may also have broad historical repercussions. The orator may become the voice of political or social history.
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