[ awr-uh-ter, or- ]
/ ˈɔr ə tər, ˈɒr- /


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.

Nearby words

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

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

British Dictionary definitions for orator


/ (ˈɒrətə) /


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