oratorio

[ awr-uh-tawr-ee-oh, -tohr-, or- ]
/ ˌɔr əˈtɔr iˌoʊ, -ˈtoʊr-, ˌɒr- /

noun, plural or·a·to·ri·os.

an extended musical composition with a text more or less dramatic in character and usually based upon a religious theme, for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra, and performed without action, costume, or scenery.

Nearby words

  1. orate fratres,
  2. oration,
  3. orator,
  4. oratorian,
  5. oratorical,
  6. oratory,
  7. oratress,
  8. oratrices,
  9. oratrix,
  10. orb

Origin of oratorio

1625–35; < Italian: small chapel < Late Latin ōrātōrium oratory2; so named from the musical services in the church of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Rome

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

Examples from the Web for oratorio


British Dictionary definitions for oratorio

oratorio

/ (ˌɒrəˈtɔːrɪəʊ) /

noun plural -rios

a dramatic but unstaged musical composition for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, based on a religious theme

Word Origin for oratorio

C18: from Italian, literally: oratory ², referring to the Church of the Oratory at Rome where musical services were held

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 oratorio

oratorio

n.

"long musical composition, usually with a text based on Scripture," 1727 (in English from 1640s in native form oratory), from Italian oratorio (late 16c.), from Church Latin oratorium (see oratory (n.2)), in reference to musical services in the church of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Rome, where old mystery plays were adapted to religious services.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for oratorio

oratorio

A musical composition for voices and orchestra, telling a religious story.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.