\ ˈȯr-əl How to pronounce oral (audio) , ˈär- \

Definition of oral

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : uttered by the mouth or in words : spoken oral traditions
b : using speech or the lips especially in teaching the deaf
2a : of, given through, or involving the mouth oral health an oral vaccine
b : being on or relating to the same surface as the mouth
3a : of, relating to, or characterized by the first stage of psychosexual development in psychoanalytic theory during which libidinal gratification is derived from intake (as of food), by sucking, and later by biting
b : of, relating to, or characterized by personality traits of passive dependency and aggressiveness

oral

noun

Definition of oral (Entry 2 of 3)

: an oral examination usually used in plural

Oral

geographical name
\ ȯ-ˈräl How to pronounce Oral (audio) \
variants: or Uralsk \ ü-​ˈrälsk How to pronounce Uralsk (audio) , yu̇-​ˈralsk \

Definition of Oral (Entry 3 of 3)

city on the Ural River in western Kazakhstan population 202,161

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Other Words from oral

Adjective

orality \ ȯ-​ˈra-​lə-​tē How to pronounce orality (audio) , ō-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for oral

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of oral in a Sentence

Adjective She practices good oral hygiene by brushing her teeth at least twice a day. As part of her oral examination, she had to recite the names of all the presidents.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That prodigious output may seem to contradict his famous reticence during oral arguments. The Economist, "Radical justice Will Clarence Thomas stick it out for a 30th year on the court?," 27 June 2020 The court is to hear oral arguments in the fall in a case brought by Texas and 17 other states to declare the law unconstitutional. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Kamala Harris, Jill Biden back Obamacare, warn of 'brutal fight' during virtual event for Milwaukee," 27 June 2020 In April 2015, when the Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments, Obergefell and his fellow plaintiffs were treated more like celebrities than litigants. Amber Hunt, The Enquirer, "5 years after same-sex marriage ruling, Jim Obergefell's fight continues," 26 June 2020 In April 2015, when the Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments, Obergefell and his fellow plaintiffs were treated more like celebrities than litigants. Amber Hunt, USA TODAY, "5 years after same-sex marriage ruling, Jim Obergefell reflects on the progress while still grieving," 26 June 2020 The Michigan Court of Appeals is not expected to hear oral arguments in the lawsuit brought by the Michigan House and Senate until August. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Federal judge questions Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus emergency powers," 19 June 2020 Reyna Montoya, the founder and CEO of Aliento, waited in the rain outside the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the oral arguments in the case last fall. Helen Wieffering, azcentral, "DACA recipients, activists celebrate Supreme Court ruling, push for DREAM Act," 18 June 2020 Last November, the Justices heard oral arguments about whether the President had lawfully ended the program. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "What the Supreme Court’s Surprise Decision on DACA Means for Hundreds of Thousands of Dreamers," 18 June 2020 The core of the case became clear during oral arguments in November. Morgan Marietta, The Conversation, "Supreme Court ruling on Dreamers sends a clear message to the White House: You have to tell the truth," 18 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oral.' 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 oral

Adjective

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1876, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oral

Adjective

Latin or-, os mouth; akin to Old Norse ōss mouth of a river, Sanskrit ās mouth

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Statistics for oral

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oral.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oral. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for oral

How to pronounce Oral (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of oral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to the mouth
used to describe a medicine that you eat or swallow
: spoken rather than written

oral

noun

English Language Learners Definition of oral (Entry 2 of 2)

: a test in which you answer questions by speaking rather than by writing : an oral examination
\ ˈȯr-əl How to pronounce oral (audio) \

Kids Definition of oral

1 : spoken entry 2 sense 1 an oral agreement
2 : of, involving, or given by the mouth an oral medication oral hygiene

Other Words from oral

orally adverb
\ ˈōr-əl, ˈȯr-, ˈär- How to pronounce oral (audio) \

Medical Definition of oral

1a : of, relating to, or involving the mouth : buccal the oral mucous membrane
b : given or taken through or by way of the mouth an oral vaccine an oral suspension of a drug
c : acting on the mouth oral diseases
2 : emphasizing lipreading and the development of vocal expression in teaching the deaf — compare manual sense 2
3a : of, relating to, or characterized by the first stage of psychosexual development in psychoanalytic theory during which libidinal gratification is derived from intake (as of food), by sucking, and later by biting
b : of, relating to, or characterized by personality traits of passive dependence and aggressiveness — compare anal sense 2, genital sense 3, phallic sense 2

Other Words from oral

orality \ ȯ-​ˈral-​ət-​ē, ō-​ How to pronounce orality (audio) \ noun, plural oralities
orally adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on oral

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oral

Spanish Central: Translation of oral

Nglish: Translation of oral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oral for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oral

Comments on oral

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