ora·​tion | \ ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce oration (audio) , 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

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 My crowning achievement was being chosen by my peers to deliver my class’ graduation day address, known as the Harvard oration. Miles Fisher, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 July 2022 With jokes, sly smiles and a gift for oration, this version of Mickey can win over any jury. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 13 May 2022 The second half of the concert was given over to Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, a monumental oration by the living titan of Soviet composers. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 24 Mar. 2022 The ship’s owner, the Bangladesh Shipping Corp oration, instructed Capt. Benoit Faucon And Joe Parkinson, WSJ, 8 Mar. 2022 Even Pericles’ funeral oration, that masterful defense of ancient Athenian democracy, was in some sense propaganda. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 In between his oration, Douglas pauses to perform some of his songs, often in unexpected settings. Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone, 21 Feb. 2022 In 1832, on his 100th birthday, Chief Justice John Marshall was invited by a Henry Clay–led congressional delegation to give an oration on Capitol Hill. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 21 Feb. 2022 Scott is clearly drawn to monologue and poetic oration, but his greatest gifts lie in scripting complex interactions. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 13 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for oration

Time Traveler

The first known use of oration was circa 1504

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Dictionary Entries Near oration



oratio obliqua

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Cite this Entry

“Oration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oration. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for oration


ora·​tion | \ ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce oration (audio) \

Kids Definition of oration

: an important speech given on a special occasion

More from Merriam-Webster on oration

Nglish: Translation of oration for Spanish Speakers


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