or·​a·​tor ˈȯr-ə-tər How to pronounce orator (audio)
: one who delivers an oration
The orator delivered the funeral oration at the cathedral.
: one distinguished for skill and power as a public speaker
is a masterly orator, able to reduce a throng of thousands to a hushed silenceRaymond Bonner

Example Sentences

though a brilliant wordsmith, Thomas Jefferson was by his own admission an unskilled orator
Recent Examples on the Web During that brief period, her skills as an orator were repeatedly questioned. Sally Percy, Forbes, 20 Dec. 2022 Perhaps even more than as a legislator, Webster was primarily known as an orator in his day, and Paul devotes special attention to his public addresses in order to tease out the essence of his philosophy. David Marques, The New Republic, 15 Nov. 2022 Washington was not only a charismatic educator and orator, but also a frequent visitor of Dallas. Dallas News, 19 Oct. 2022 But the two Americans had agreed that Hemesath, the more experienced orator, would take the lead. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, 22 Nov. 2022 When the British abolitionist George Thompson spoke in Boston in 1835, an angry mob awaited him at the building’s exit—and was deflected only when Child and other women formed a flying wedge around the orator. James Marcus, WSJ, 4 Nov. 2022 Perhaps the most important element in this dynamic is candor—the willingness of the orator to trust the audience enough to level with it. Jon Meacham, Town & Country, 30 Oct. 2022 That evening, the celebrated orator donned his familiar white suit and gave a public lecture and reading. Mike Klingaman, Baltimore Sun, 4 Oct. 2022 The legendary abolitionist and orator is celebrated in this new documentary. cleveland, 9 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near orator

Cite this Entry

“Orator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orator. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


or·​a·​tor ˈȯr-ət-ər How to pronounce orator (audio)
: a public speaker noted for skill and power in speaking

More from Merriam-Webster on orator

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?