or·​a·​cle | \ˈȯr-ə-kəl, ˈär-\

Definition of oracle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a person (such as a priestess of ancient Greece) through whom a deity is believed to speak the prophecies of the Delphic oracle— D. F. Marks

b : a shrine in which a deity reveals hidden knowledge or the divine purpose through such a person

c : an answer or decision given by an oracle ambiguous oracles

2a : a person giving wise or authoritative decisions or opinions She became an oracle of pop culture.

b : an authoritative or wise expression or answer


geographical name
Or·​a·​cle | \ˈȯr-ə-kəl, ˈär-\

Definition of Oracle (Entry 2 of 2)

unincorporated settlement north-northeast of Tucson in southern Arizona population 3686; site of a biome research facility

Examples of oracle in a Sentence


I met her long before she had become the oracle of pop culture.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Biblical predictions have the ambiguity of the oracle. Rabbi David Wolpe, Time, "Why We Shouldn't Be So Sure of Our Predictions About the Future," 20 Apr. 2018 The Fed’s extraordinary policies in the past decade distorted capital markets and arguably accommodated poor fiscal-policy decisions by oracles in the White House and Congress. WSJ, "Was the Phillips Curve Ever a Reliable Tool?," 9 May 2018 Head Over Heels The Curran presents a musical romp featuring the music of the Go-Go’s about a royal famliy that must prevent an oracle’s prophecy of doom. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of April 22," 19 Apr. 2018 Actress and writer Amber Tamblyn looked like an oracle late last year. Stephanie Merry,, "Amber Tamblyn's novel about sexual assault will upset some people. She's OK with that.," 26 June 2018 Related His exit marks a stunning turn of events for a man who had become one of the oracles of the advertising business. Suzanne Vranica, WSJ, "WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell, Contending With Probe, Decided to Resign," 15 Apr. 2018 The play, which begins previews at Broadway’s Hudson Theater on June 23, sets the group’s music to an Elizabethan tale about an oracle’s four prophecies that spell doom for the kingdom of Arcadia. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "The Go-Go's on Heading to Broadway With 'Head Over Heels,' Their Legacy & Inviting Mike Pence to the Play," 27 Apr. 2018 Lej's mystical oracle, the Spirit Tree, has turned into a potty-mouthed perv, and the squad must jam a stick in its hole to stave off intergalactic ruin. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "Adventures of Spirit Force Five," 12 July 2018 But wait, there’s more: drag queen Peppermint from Ru Paul’s Drag Race comes to Broadway in this show as an oracle. Toby Zinman,, "Broadway Beat: Here's a summer freebie in NYC for Philly theater buffs to check out," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oracle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oracle


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for oracle


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin oraculum, from orare to speak — more at oration

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Dictionary Entries near oracle






oracle bone


Statistics for oracle

Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oracle

The first known use of oracle was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for oracle



English Language Learners Definition of oracle

in ancient Greece : a person (such as a priestess) through whom a god was believed to speak

: the place (such as a shrine) where people went to ask questions of an oracle

: an answer or message given by an oracle


or·​a·​cle | \ˈȯr-ə-kəl \

Kids Definition of oracle

1 : a person (as a priestess in ancient Greece) through whom a god is believed to speak

2 : the place where a god speaks through a person

3 : an answer given by a person through whom a god speaks

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Comments on oracle

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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