ora·​tion | \ə-ˈrā-shən, ȯ-\

Definition of oration 

: an elaborate discourse (see discourse entry 1 sense 2) delivered in a formal and dignified manner She delivered an oration on the value of art in our society. a commencement oration a funeral oration

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Examples of oration in a Sentence

She made an oration on the value of art in society. the celebrated orations of Daniel Webster in unwavering support of the federal union

Recent Examples on the Web

Colbert had his work cut out for him in trying to analyze roughly 90 minutes of the president’s oration in just an hour. Tracy Brown, latimes.com, "Stephen Colbert savages Trump's State of the Union speech: 'Better luck next year'," 31 Jan. 2018 The oration decried the widespread prejudice against educating women in the arts and sciences, which had been grounded in the view that a life of managing a household would require no such learning. Richard Gunderman, Scientific American, "Maria Agnesi, the Greatest Female Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of," 16 May 2018 The first-term mayor used a powerful oration to elicit one of the most raucous standing ovations from more than 7,000 people at the Texas Democratic Convention on Friday. Jeremy Wallace, Houston Chronicle, "Sylvester Turner fires up Texas Democrats at party convention," 22 June 2018 Raytheon , which manufactures Tomahawk cruise missiles, fell 2.8%, and industry supplier Hexcel Corp oration fell 4.5%. Saumya Vaishampayan, WSJ, "Calm Markets After Trump-Kim Summit: What You Need to Know," 12 June 2018 The agency has received 31 inquiries related to Celgene Corp oration alone. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "More Competition for Pharma," 18 May 2018 In January, Shell announced plans to acquire a nearly 44% stake in U.S. solar company Silicon Ranch Corp oration in a deal valued around $200 million. Sarah Kent, WSJ, "Oil Giant Shell Wants to Sell You Electricity," 29 Mar. 2018 That speech has also been touted as one of the greatest orations of the century. Justin Madden, cleveland.com, "Watch live: City Club of Cleveland discusses Robert F. Kennedy's anti-violence speech 50 years later," 5 Apr. 2018 This despite the gracious words the new governor had for Christie in his inaugural address, a rather sweet (and short) oration featuring scoops of platitudes sprinkled with bits of bipartisanship. Kevin Riordan, Philly.com, "My would-be bromance with Phil Murphy proved too taxing," 31 Mar. 2018

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

circa 1504, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oration

Latin oration-, oratio speech, oration, from orare to plead, speak, pray; akin to Hittite ariya- to consult an oracle and perhaps to Greek ara prayer

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Dictionary Entries near oration





oratio obliqua



Statistics for oration

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for oration

The first known use of oration was circa 1504

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English Language Learners Definition of oration

: a formal speech


ora·​tion | \ə-ˈrā-shən \

Kids Definition of oration

: an important speech given on a special occasion

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Comments on oration

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a private place of worship

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