• synonyms


[awr-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, or-]
See more synonyms for oratory on Thesaurus.com
  1. skill or eloquence in public speaking: The evangelist moved thousands to repentance with his oratory.
  2. the art of public speaking, especially in a formal and eloquent manner.
Show More

Origin of oratory1

1580–90; < Latin ōrātōria, noun use of feminine of ōrātōrius of an orator. See orator, -tory1


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com


[awr-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, or-]
noun, plural or·a·to·ries.
  1. a place of prayer, as a small chapel or a room for private devotions.
  2. (initial capital letter) Roman Catholic Church. any of the religious societies of secular priests who live in religious communities but do not take vows.
Show More

Origin of oratory2

1300–50; Middle English < Late Latin ōrātōrium place of prayer. See orator, -tory2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

eloquence, rhetoric, grandiloquence, diction, articulation, declamation, speech, elocution, speaking

Examples from the Web for oratory

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for oratory


  1. the art of public speaking
  2. rhetorical skill or style
Show More
Derived Formsoratorical, adjectiveoratorically, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin (ars) ōrātōria (the art of) public speaking


noun plural -ries
  1. a small room or secluded place, set apart for private prayer
Show More

Word Origin

C14: from Anglo-Norman, from Church Latin ōrātōrium place of prayer, from ōrāre to plead, pray


noun RC Church
  1. Also called: Congregation of the Oratory the religious society of secular priests (Oratorians) living in a community founded by St Philip Neri
  2. any church belonging to this societythe Brompton Oratory
Show More
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 oratory


"formal public speaking, the art of eloquence," 1580s, from Latin (ars) oratoria "oratorical (art)," fem. of oratorius "of speaking or pleading, pertaining to an orator," from orare "to speak, pray, plead" (see orator).

Show More


"small chapel," c.1300, from Old French oratorie and directly from Late Latin oratorium "place of prayer" (especially the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Rome, where musical services were presented), noun use of an adjective, as in oratorium templum, from neuter of Latin oratorius "of or for praying," from orare "to pray, plead, speak" (see orator).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper