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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for orator
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The orator of Guayana to be impressive must be long, however little he may have to say.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • I wager that for this you would think me too an orator of a hundred parts.

    Albert Durer T. Sturge Moore
  • With that he was poet, troubadour, orator, as well as very eccentric and attractive.

  • As an orator too, his first appearance in the House of Commons was a failure.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • Madden was about to answer that he didn't know, when the orator went on.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
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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