or·​a·​tor | \ ˈȯr-ə-tər How to pronounce orator (audio) , ˈär- \

Definition of orator

1 : one who delivers an oration The orator delivered the funeral oration at the cathedral.
2 : one distinguished for skill and power as a public speaker is a masterly orator, able to reduce a throng of thousands to a hushed silence— Raymond Bonner

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Synonyms for orator


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Examples of orator in a Sentence

though a brilliant wordsmith, Thomas Jefferson was by his own admission an unskilled orator
Recent Examples on the Web The great orator and abolitionist continued championing freedom for slaves. Kwin Mosby, Travel + Leisure, "How Travel Shaped Frederick Douglass’ Famous Speech 'What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?'," 1 July 2020 For one thing, Roosevelt was one of history’s most inspiring and comforting orators. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Give Newsom credit. He’s trying it all to fight coronavirus and California’s economic collapse," 23 Apr. 2020 Like a succession of orators speaking to a skeptical audience, each person strives to outdo previous speakers, leading to some common patterns. Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, "Why It Feels Like Everything Is Going Haywire," 12 Nov. 2019 During a July competition to honor the century-plus tradition of orators facing off in the square to argue politics or whatever else strikes their fancy, Hopkins promised to call for the council to enact the winning speaker’s issue. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: Illinois fair sets record with help from Snoop Dogg, Reba McEntire | Chicago alderman says he’ll withdraw pot plan | Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren both in town," 19 Sep. 2019 Caesar was clever, a gifted orator and writer, a fearsome military strategist with ambitious plans for Rome. Joanna Kenty, The Conversation, "Julius Caesar refused to be crowned king," 12 Mar. 2020 Apparently the ancient Greek orator knew that New York in 1868 was stuffed with cash and war-profiteer millionaires looking for ways to spend it. John Strausbaugh, National Review, "The Scandalous and Pioneering Victoria Woodhull," 8 Feb. 2020 Researchers used CT scans, 3D models, and an instrument called a Vocal Tract Organ to determine what the ancient orator might've sounded like so long ago. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Using Science to Hear an Ancient Mummy Speak," 1 Feb. 2020 No finger-wagging, no thundering denunciations, no playing to the crowd, none of the rhetorical flourishes so beloved by political orators. John Wildermuth, SFChronicle.com, "Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein are heard from but not seen in Trump trial," 29 Jan. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for orator

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The first known use of orator was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Orator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orator. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce orator (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of orator

formal : a person who makes speeches and is very good at making them


or·​a·​tor | \ ˈȯr-ə-tər How to pronounce orator (audio) \

Kids Definition of orator

: a public speaker noted for skill and power in speaking

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