[ awr-uh l, ohr- ]
/ ˈɔr əl, ˈoʊr- /
uttered by the mouth; spoken: oral testimony.
of, using, or transmitted by speech: oral methods of language teaching; oral traditions.
of, relating to, or involving the mouth: the oral cavity.
done, taken, or administered through the mouth: an oral dose of medicine.
Phonetics. articulated with none of the voice issuing through the nose, as the normal English vowels and the consonants b and v.
- of or relating to the earliest phase of infantile psychosexual development, lasting from birth to one year of age or longer, during which pleasure is obtained from eating, sucking, and biting.
- of or relating to the sublimation of feelings experienced during the oral stage of childhood: oral anxiety.
- of or relating to gratification by stimulation of the lips or membranes of the mouth, as in sucking, eating, or talking
Zoology. pertaining to that surface of polyps and marine animals that contains the mouth and tentacles.
an oral examination in a school, college, or university, given especially to a candidate for an advanced degree.
Words nearby oral
Origin of oral
1615–25; < Latin ōr- (stem of ōs) mouth (cognate with Sanskrit āsya) + -al1
OTHER WORDS FROM oral
o·ral·i·ty, nouno·ral·ly, adverbnon·o·ral, adjectivenon·o·ral·ly, adverb
post·o·ral, adjectivesub·o·ral, adjectiveun·o·ral, adjectiveun·o·ral·ly, adverb
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH oraloral aural
usage note for oral
1. See verbal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for nonoral
/ (ˈɔːrəl, ˈɒrəl) /
spoken or verbalan oral agreement
relating to, affecting, or for use in the mouthan oral thermometer
of or relating to the surface of an animal, such as a jellyfish, on which the mouth is situated
denoting a drug to be taken by mouthan oral contraceptive Compare parenteral
of, relating to, or using spoken words
phonetics pronounced with the soft palate in a raised position completely closing the nasal cavity and allowing air to pass out only through the mouth
an examination in which the questions and answers are spoken rather than written
Derived forms of oralorally, adverb
Word Origin for oral
C17: from Late Latin orālis, from Latin ōs face
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
Medical definitions for nonoral
[ ôr′əl ]
Of or relating to the mouth.
Used in or taken through the mouth.
Of or relating to the first stage of psychosexual development in psychoanalytic theory, in which the mouth is the focus of exploration and pleasure.
Other words from oralo′ral•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for nonoral
[ ôr′əl ]
Relating to or involving the mouth.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.