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 One century before Malcolm X emerged as a fiery critic of American values, Ruggles was a gifted orator who inspired audiences to care about the liberation of slaves. USA Today, 2 Sep. 2021 In the years just before his death, Frederick Douglass, the great Black orator and abolitionist, spent a two-year stint as the American consul to Haiti. Washington Post, 8 July 2021 Messiaen provided florid descriptions of the movements, and in this one the reed warbler is the great orator of his local lily pond. Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2021 Kaluuya is especially great as a revolutionary orator and complex leader deemed too dangerous to exist by the federal government. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 12 Aug. 2021 The 14-year-old author and orator, who spoke at President Joe Biden's inauguration and at the Democratic National Convention conference in 2020, suffers from a speech impediment and stutter. Jacorey Moon, PEOPLE.com, 10 Aug. 2021 He had been considered a favorite of King Hussein’s, a more polished orator with a more academic mind than Abdullah, and had been groomed as a teenager for the throne. BostonGlobe.com, 10 Apr. 2021 The trail allows easy access–via short detours–to Webster Lake, where orator Daniel Webster spent summers as a boy, and Enfield Shaker Museum, which exhibits the signature minimalist furniture of this Christian sect. Jeanine Barone, WSJ, 10 June 2021 Tacitus, the famed historian and orator, describes him killing his pregnant wife, Poppaea, by kicking her in the stomach. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 May 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near orator

oratio obliqua



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Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Orator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orator. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of orator

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on orator

Nglish: Translation of orator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of orator for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orator


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