oro·​tund ˈȯr-ə-ˌtənd How to pronounce orotund (audio)
: marked by fullness, strength, and clarity of sound : sonorous
an orotund voice
: pompous, bombastic
an orotund speech
orotundity noun

Did you know?

The Latin roots of orotund are related to two more common English words—oral and rotund. Latin or- means "mouth," and rotundus means "round" or "circular." The Roman poet Horace joined forms of those Latin terms to create the phrase ore rotundo, literally meaning "with round mouth," and figuratively meaning "with well-turned speech." Ore rotundo was modified to orotund and adopted into English in the late 18th century. It can indicate either strength of delivery or inflated wording.

Example Sentences

the tenor's orotund voice was just what this soaring aria needs a master of the orotund prose that is favored by academic journals of literary criticism
Recent Examples on the Web But the extravagance of Tudor self-aggrandizement is almost comical, and it wasn’t limited to the orotund Henry plastering his face onto biblical kings. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2022 Novoselov had a boisterous, orotund way of talking that even the interpreter seemed to have trouble making sense of. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 The speaker’s orotund oratory, his mannered put-downs, his mock pretentiousness, his pompous, practiced, often hilarious jawing will be no more. Karla Adam, Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orotund.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


modification of Latin ore rotundo, literally, with round mouth

First Known Use

1799, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of orotund was in 1799


Dictionary Entries Near orotund

Cite this Entry

“Orotund.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orotund. Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

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