[aw-rey-shuh n, oh-rey-]


a formal public speech, especially one delivered on a special occasion, as on an anniversary, at a funeral, or at academic exercises.
a public speech characterized by a studied or elevated style, diction, or delivery.

Origin of oration

1325–75; Middle English oracion < Latin ōrātiōn- (stem of ōrātiō) speech, prayer, equivalent to ōrāt(us) (past participle of ōrāre to plead, derivative of ōr-, stem of ōs mouth) + -iōn- -ion
Can be confusedoration peroration

Synonyms for oration

1. See speech. 2. discourse, declamation.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oration

Contemporary Examples of oration

  • Being young and oh-so-clever, I thought it would be witty to close my oration with a quote that depended on the f-word.

    The Daily Beast logo
    My Commencement Address

    Christopher Buckley

    May 17, 2009

Historical Examples of oration

British Dictionary definitions for oration



a formal public declaration or speech
any rhetorical, lengthy, or pompous speech
an academic exercise or contest in public speaking

Word Origin for oration

C14: from Latin ōrātiō speech, harangue, from ōrāre to plead, pray
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 oration

late 14c., "prayer," from Late Latin orationem (nominative oratio) "a speaking, speech, discourse; language, faculty of speech, mode of expressing; prayer," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin orare "to pray, plead, speak before an assembly" (see orator). Meaning "formal speech, discourse" first recorded c.1500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper