Word of the Day : June 3, 2017

oracular

play
adjective aw-RAK-yuh-ler

Definition

1 : resembling an oracle (as in solemnity of delivery)

2 : of, relating to, or being an oracle

Did You Know?

When the ancient Greeks had questions or problems, they would turn to the gods for answers by consulting an oracle. The word oracle has several meanings. It can refer to the god's answer, to the shrine that worshippers approached when seeking advice, or to the person through whom the god communicated, usually in the form of cryptic verse. The words oracular and oracle trace back to the Latin verb orare, which means "to speak." Today, oracle can simply mean an authoritative pronouncement or a person who makes such pronouncements—for example, "a designer who is an oracle of fashion." The related adjective oracular is used in similar contexts: "a designer who is the oracular voice of fashion."



Examples

"Wheeler had Bohr's rounded brow and soft features, as well as his way of speaking about physics in oracular undertones." — James Gleick, Genius: The Life & Science of Richard Feynman, 1992

"The New York Public Library's Live From the NYPL series continues with a conversation between Ms. Atwood—the prolific and oracular novelist whose latest book, 'Hag-Seed,' reimagines Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'—and Ms. Shaw, the actress and director." — Jack Williams and Joshua Barone, The New York Times, 14 Oct. 2016



Word Family Quiz

Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective derived from Latin orare that means "relentless": _ ne _ o _ a _ _ e.

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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