Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

oratorio

play
noun or·a·to·rio \ˌȯr-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-ˌō, ˌär-\

Simple Definition of oratorio

  • : a large piece of music for a group of singers and musicians that is usually about a religious subject

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of oratorio

plural

oratorios

  1. :  a lengthy choral work usually of a religious nature consisting chiefly of recitatives, arias, and choruses without action or scenery

Origin and Etymology of oratorio

Italian, from the Oratorio di San Filippo Neri (Oratory of St. Philip Neri) in Rome


First Known Use: 1731


Learn More about oratorio


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up oratorio? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of striking ability or excellence

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

brumal vernal hiemal estival
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ