oral

adjective
\ 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
orally \ ˈȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce orally (audio) , ˈär-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for oral

Synonyms: Adjective

spoken, uttered, vocal, voiced

Antonyms: Adjective

nonvocal

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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

An appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday is set to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare. Katie Thomas, New York Times, "Judge Blocks Trump Rule Requiring Drug Companies to List Prices in TV Ads," 8 July 2019 During the oral arguments, each side will have 45 minutes to present its position. Author: Amy Goldstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Court decision on Affordable Care Act could create political havoc for GOP," 7 July 2019 Curiosity and questions Court dynamics are revealed in all aspects of the job and oral argument is no exception. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "We charted the ideological lines along which each Supreme Court justice voted," 3 July 2019 The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Oct. 8 on three cases concerning alleged discrimination against LGBTQ workers. CBS News, "Big business urges Supreme Court to protect LGBTQ rights," 2 July 2019 When the justices heard oral arguments on this newer census case in April, the court’s conservatives seemed ready to repeat history. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Seems Oddly Ambivalent About Being Lied To," 27 June 2019 In April when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the census, President Trump said Americans deserved to know how many citizens were among those residing in their country. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Blocks Citizenship Question From 2020 Census for Now," 27 June 2019 The 4th Circuit, which reviews cases from the District of Columbia and Maryland, heard oral argument in March, and could issue a ruling at any time. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Judge: Democrats’ emoluments case against Trump can proceed," 25 June 2019 The 4th Circuit, which reviews cases from the District of Columbia and Maryland, heard oral argument in March, and could issue a ruling at any time. Jonathan O’connell, BostonGlobe.com, "Democrats’ emoluments lawsuit against Trump can proceed, federal judge rules," 25 June 2019

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

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oral

The first known use of oral was in 1597

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More Definitions for oral

oral

adjective

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

oral

adjective
\ 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

oral

adjective
\ 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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