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


lecturer, speaker

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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

Unlike Petro, Gaitán was a legendary orator with broad popular support. Dylan Baddour, Washington Post, "For decades, Colombia battled leftist guerrillas. Now one is a leading presidential candidate.," 23 May 2018 Honors orator Namit Sambare, too, referred to memories, such as prom and when a bird got loose in the fieldhouse while the students were taking a standardized college admissions test. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale South presents 386 diplomas to class of 2018," 24 May 2018 In 1799, American politician and orator Patrick Henry died at Red Hill Plantation in Virginia. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 6 June 2018 Sojourner Truth, a legendary orator who had a hand disability, lit the flames of modern feminism through speeches about women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. Ola Ojewumi, SELF, "I'm Celebrating My Disabled Black Girl Magic Because I'm Done Feeling Invisible," 7 Nov. 2018 Class orator Jason Walton recalled some of the Class of 2018's highlights. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Plainfield High School Launches 153 Graduates," 3 July 2018 To firebrands like Lena Morrow Lewis, who had risen quickly to become one of the Socialist Party’s most well-known organizers and orators, the misogyny of the party’s male membership was blinding them to societal realities. Olivia Campbell, Smithsonian, "The Historical Struggle to Rid Socialism of Sexism," 12 July 2018 On that bustling corner already: vendors of food and souvenirs, religious orators, tourists in line for cable cars, hanging flower baskets, kiosk for Muni tickets, sidewalk bathroom, break-dancers, tap dancers. ... Leah Garchik, SFChronicle.com, "S.F. Opera showed off its gleaming ‘Ring’," 1 July 2018 Destiny Shabazz, a senior at McClymonds High School in Oakland, launches her words in the cadence of a confident orator. Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "McClymonds seniors say college admission is great, but triumph lies in the future," 21 May 2018

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

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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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Comments on orator

What made you want to look up orator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

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