or·​a·​cle | \ ˈȯr-ə-kəl How to pronounce oracle (audio) , 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 How to pronounce Oracle (audio) , 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

Noun I met her long before she had become the oracle of pop culture.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun He is treated as an oracle by wannabe cryptocurrency moguls who mob him in public. Rob Copeland, WSJ, "Olaf Carlson-Wee Rode the Bitcoin Boom to Silicon Valley Riches. Can He Survive the Crash?," 11 Sep. 2018 Horvath, a biostatistician at the University of California Los Angeles, wasn’t trying to create a scientific oracle. Michele Cohen Marill, Wired, "New Tests Use Epigenetics to Guess How Fast You're Aging," 19 Dec. 2019 After that, Joette Shaffer, a spiritual advisor with 22 years of experience reading tarot and oracle cards, sat down with me to dig into my Akashic Records. Patrick Connolly,, "Cassadaga: 24 hours in Florida’s ‘Psychic Capital of the World’," 25 Oct. 2019 Natalie will be remembered as a doting Grandmother and oracle of knowledge., "Deaths in South Florida: 11/2," 2 Nov. 2019 Reduced to highlights and stripped of distinction, Percy’s adventures with Furies, oracles, Medusa, Ares and Hades quickly pall. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Lightning Thief,’ a Far Cry From Olympus," 16 Oct. 2019 Vikings 27, Chiefs 24: The Magic 8 Ball says Patrick Mahomes returns, but the oracle has deemed Kirk Cousins and Minnesota ready to beat a good team on the road. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, "Vikings at Chiefs predictions: This one depends on who QBs Kansas City," 1 Nov. 2019 The new work essentially gives us leverage over that powerful oracle. Quanta Magazine, "Computer Scientists Expand the Frontier of Verifiable Knowledge," 23 May 2019 The parable begins as such: A group of kids sets out to visit an elderly wise woman, a purported oracle who lives at the edge of town, to prove her powers fraudulent. Syreeta Mcfadden, The Atlantic, "What Toni Morrison Knew About Trump," 13 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for oracle

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oracle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for oracle


How to pronounce Oracle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of oracle

: 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 How to pronounce oracle (audio) \

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).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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