[ aw-rey-shuh n, oh-rey- ]
/ ɔˈreɪ ʃən, oʊˈreɪ- /


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.

Nearby words

  1. oraria,
  2. orarion,
  3. orarium,
  4. orate,
  5. orate fratres,
  6. orator,
  7. oratorian,
  8. oratorical,
  9. oratorio,
  10. oratory

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

1. See speech. 2. discourse, declamation.

Can be confusedoration peroration

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oration

British Dictionary definitions for oration


/ (ɔːˈreɪʃən) /


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