1

oral

adjective \ ˈȯr-əl , ˈär- \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of oral

1 a :uttered by the mouth or in words :spoken
  • oral traditions
b :using speech or the lips especially in teaching the deaf
2 a :of, given through, or involving the mouth
  • oral health
  • an oral vaccine
b :being on or relating to the same surface as the mouth
3 a :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

orality

play \ȯ-ˈra-lə-tē, ō-\ noun

orally

play \ˈȯr-ə-lē, ˈär-\ adverb

Examples of oral in a Sentence

  1. She practices good oral hygiene by brushing her teeth at least twice a day.

  2. As part of her oral examination, she had to recite the names of all the presidents.

Recent Examples of oral from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of oral

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


2

oral

noun

Definition of oral

:an oral examination usually used in plural

First Known Use of oral

1876


Oral

geographical name \ ȯ-ˈräl \
variants: or Uralsk play \ü-ˈrälsk, yu̇-ˈralsk\

Definition of Oral

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


ORAL Defined for English Language Learners

oral

adjective

Definition of oral for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to the mouth

  • —used to describe a medicine that you eat or swallow

  • : spoken rather than written


oral

noun

Definition of oral for English Language Learners

  • : a test in which you answer questions by speaking rather than by writing : an oral examination


ORAL Defined for Kids

oral

adjective \ ˈȯr-əl \

Definition of oral for Students

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

orally

adverb

Medical Dictionary

oral

adjective \ ˈōr-əl, ˈȯr-, ˈär- \

medical Definition of oral

1 a :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 2
3 a :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 2, genital 3, phallic 2

orality

play \ȯ-ˈral-ət-ē, ō-\ noun plural -ties

orally

adverb


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