Word Origin & History
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.