oracle

[awr-uh-kuh l, or-]
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noun
  1. (especially in ancient Greece) an utterance, often ambiguous or obscure, given by a priest or priestess at a shrine as the response of a god to an inquiry.
  2. the agency or medium giving such responses.
  3. a shrine or place at which such responses were given: the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.
  4. a person who delivers authoritative, wise, or highly regarded and influential pronouncements.
  5. a divine communication or revelation.
  6. any person or thing serving as an agency of divine communication.
  7. any utterance made or received as authoritative, extremely wise, or infallible.
  8. oracles, the Scriptures.
  9. the holy of holies of the Temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem. I Kings 6:16, 19–23.

Origin of oracle

1350–1400; Middle English < Old French < Latin ōrāculum, equivalent to ōrā(re) to plead (see oration) + -culum -cle2
Can be confusedauricle oracle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for oracle

oracle

noun
  1. a prophecy, often obscure or allegorical, revealed through the medium of a priest or priestess at the shrine of a god
  2. a shrine at which an oracular god is consulted
  3. an agency through which a prophecy is transmitted
  4. any person or thing believed to indicate future action with infallible authority
  5. a statement believed to be infallible and authoritative
  6. Bible
    1. a message from God
    2. the holy of holies in the Israelite temple
See also oracles

Word Origin for oracle

C14: via Old French from Latin ōrāculum, from ōrāre to request
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

Word Origin and History for oracle
n.

late 14c., "a message from a god, expressed by divine inspiration," from Old French oracle "temple, house of prayer; oracle" (12c.) and directly from Latin oraculum "divine announcement, oracle; place where oracles are given," from orare "pray, plead" (see orator), with material instrumental suffix -culo-. In antiquity, "the agency or medium of a god," also "the place where such divine utterances were given." This sense is attested in English from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper