[awr-uh-ter, or-]


a person who delivers an oration; a public speaker, especially one of great eloquence: Demosthenes was one of the great orators of ancient Greece.
Law. a plaintiff in a case in a court of equity.

Origin of orator

1325–75; < Latin ōrātor speaker, suppliant, equivalent to ōrā(re) (see oration) + -tor -tor; replacing Middle English oratour < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Related formsor·a·tor·like, adjectiveor·a·tor·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for orator

Contemporary Examples of orator

Historical Examples of orator

  • The orator of Guayana to be impressive must be long, however little he may have to say.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • I wager that for this you would think me too an orator of a hundred parts.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • With that he was poet, troubadour, orator, as well as very eccentric and attractive.

  • As an orator too, his first appearance in the House of Commons was a failure.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Madden was about to answer that he didn't know, when the orator went on.

British Dictionary definitions for orator



a public speaker, esp one versed in rhetoric
a person given to lengthy or pompous speeches
obsolete the claimant in a cause of action in chancery
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 orator

late 14c., "one who pleads or argues for a cause," from Anglo-French oratour (Modern French orateur), from Latin orator "speaker," from orare "to speak, speak before a court or assembly, pray, plead," from PIE root *or- "to pronounce a ritual formula" (cf. Sanskrit aryanti "they praise," Homeric Greek are, Attic ara "prayer," Hittite ariya- "to ask the oracle," aruwai- "to revere, worship"). Meaning "public speaker" is attested from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper