[ awr-uh-kuhl, or- ]
See synonyms for oracle on
  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.

  1. a shrine or place at which such responses were given: the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.

  2. a person who delivers authoritative, wise, or highly regarded and influential pronouncements.

  3. a divine communication or revelation.

  4. any person or thing serving as an agency of divine communication.

  5. any utterance made or received as authoritative, extremely wise, or infallible.

  6. oracles, the Scriptures.

  7. the holy of holies of the Temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem. 1 Kings 6:16, 19–23.

Origin of oracle

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ōrāculum, equivalent to ōrā(re) “to plead” + -culum diminutive noun suffix; see oration, -cle2

Words that may be confused with oracle

Words Nearby oracle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use oracle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for oracle


/ (ˈɒrəkəl) /

  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

  1. an agency through which a prophecy is transmitted

  2. any person or thing believed to indicate future action with infallible authority

  3. a statement believed to be infallible and authoritative

  4. Bible

    • a message from God

    • the holy of holies in the Israelite temple

Origin of 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