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[awr-uh-ter, or-] /ˈɔr ə tər, ˈɒr-/
a person who delivers an oration; a public speaker, especially one of great eloquence:
Demosthenes was one of the great orators of ancient Greece.
Law. a plaintiff in a case in a court of equity.
Origin of orator
1325-75; < Latin ōrātor speaker, suppliant, equivalent to ōrā(re) (see oration) + -tor -tor; replacing Middle English oratour < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Related forms
oratorlike, adjective
oratorship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for orator
  • The press, instead of displacing the orator, has given him a larger audience and enabled him to do a more extended work.
  • The epistles of the great orator and politician offer both personal insight and policy initiative.
  • The orator has a high reputation for eloquence and intellectual grasp.
  • We were looking for a strong leader and got a good orator with no principled positions.
  • He was a skilled lawyer, a renowned orator, and a member of the president's inner circle.
  • The orator discussed such fascinating things as teleportation and a new, sixth state of matter.
  • He was a skilled orator and was often called to speak at local events.
  • He was not an orator, but he could tell what he knew in a pleasing way.
  • Corwin was an effective orator and was known for his wit, eloquence, and fiery debates.
  • For an old-fashioned orator, there could have been no more appropriate final stage exit.
British Dictionary definitions for orator


a public speaker, esp one versed in rhetoric
a person given to lengthy or pompous speeches
(obsolete) the claimant in a cause of action in chancery
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 orator

late 14c., "one who pleads or argues for a cause," from Anglo-French oratour (Modern French orateur), from Latin orator "speaker," from orare "to speak, speak before a court or assembly, pray, plead," from PIE root *or- "to pronounce a ritual formula" (cf. Sanskrit aryanti "they praise," Homeric Greek are, Attic ara "prayer," Hittite ariya- "to ask the oracle," aruwai- "to revere, worship"). Meaning "public speaker" is attested from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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