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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for orator


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Frederick Douglass, the American abolitionist orator and publisher, and Antonio Maceo, the celebrated military hero of the Cuban independence movement, are rarely if ever mentioned together. Griffin Black, Scientific American, "The Whitewashing of Black Genius," 12 Oct. 2020 Pence is a more polished orator than his running mate, President Donald Trump, and Harris is a former prosecutor who takes a district attorney’s approach to questioning witnesses in the U.S. Senate. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "Mike Pence and Kamala Harris to meet for first and only vice presidential debate Wednesday," 7 Oct. 2020 The pathetic, boorish display by the POTUS would thwart even the most vibrant orator's attempt at discourse. Melissa Mahtani, CNN, "We asked our viewers what they thought about the first debate. Here's what they said.," 30 Sep. 2020 Obama seemed to be rather ineffectual—a nice man, an excellent orator. Accra Shepp, The New York Review of Books, "‘The Story I’m Telling’: An Interview with Archie Shepp," 29 Sep. 2020 There might be a budding orator or podcaster who has not yet found their calling yet, but will when given the opportunity to do so. Eli Reiter, Wired, "How Teachers Can Foster Community in Online Classrooms," 25 Sep. 2020 Four years ago, students at Thomas’ school, Village Leadership Academy, began a campaign to rename the park for Frederick Douglass, who rose from enslavement in the 19th-century South to become a legendary orator and writer. Mary Schmich, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Anna Douglass may soon get her name on a Chicago park. Who was she, in addition to being Frederick Douglass’ wife?," 11 Sep. 2020 For the first time, Douglass experienced it firsthand in a country where many people respected him for rising from a life of servitude and becoming an eloquent orator. Kwin Mosby, Travel + Leisure, "How Travel Shaped Frederick Douglass’ Famous Speech 'What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?'," 1 July 2020 With a bigger broadcast imprint, Jackson’s stock as a preacher and orator has also grown. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "Bishop Wayne T. Jackson's ministry expands along with his reach," 29 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of orator

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about orator

Time Traveler for orator

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for orator

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Orator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orator. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for orator


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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!