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 Calhoun was a congressman, senator, secretary of war and vice president, one of his generation’s most brilliant orators, and an effective defender of limited government and free trade. Roger Kimball, WSJ, "Civilization Is History at Yale," 29 Jan. 2020 Henry, a bold orator with pinioning eyes, had argued at the First Continental Congress that each colony should be assigned a number of votes proportionate to the number of its white inhabitants. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "These ‘missing’ Jacob Lawrence paintings are finally in a museum — and they’re masterpieces," 24 Jan. 2020 Daniel Webster, statesman, orator, and US senator, class of 1801 Webster played a crucial role in defending Dartmouth during the Supreme Court case in 1819, which solidified his reputation as a constitutional lawyer. BostonGlobe.com, "Robert Frost, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, class of 1896," 13 Dec. 2019 No such reservations occurred to William Hamilton, a black carpenter, orator, and journalist, when slavery finally ended in New York in 1827. Richard Brookhiser, National Review, "The New York Manumission Society," 24 Oct. 2019 And when the Jesuit missionaries were preaching in the streets, Loyola proved to be a terribly dull orator. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, "What a Jesuit school in Manila can teach us about the purpose of companies," 16 Dec. 2019 Nixon the orator may have hoped for something more. BostonGlobe.com, "Fifty years ago Sunday night, President Richard M. Nixon sat in the Oval Office and delivered a nationally televised speech whose content is almost universally forgotten today, but, like so many major presidential addresses, is remembered for one phrase: “silent majority.’’," 3 Nov. 2019 The top three youth orators who have won all previous elimination rounds of the contest will vie for top honors in the national contest in April in Indianapolis. Carroll County Times Staff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "High School students invited to compete in American Legion speech contest for scholarship money," 2 Nov. 2019 The first pours from political orators; the second winds around friends at a bar. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Is the Internet Making Writing Better?," 26 July 2019

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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Orator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orator?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=o&file=orator01. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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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

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