Definition of oracle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈôrək(ə)l/


1A priest or priestess acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods in classical antiquity.
Example sentences
  • Her priests and oracles are all being kept in the tower.
  • Here, finally, we come to the heart of the difference between the oracles of the pagan Greeks of the classical period and the revelations of the prophets of the People of the Book.
  • In the trial of Socrates, as described by Plato, the oracle at Delphi proclaimed that there is no one wiser than Socrates.
1.1A place at which divine advice or prophecy was sought.
Example sentences
  • An oracle is a shrine or temple sanctuary consecrated to the worship and consultation of a prophetic god.
  • Over the portal at the oracle in Delphi, Apollo's temple, there were two sayings - ‘Know thyself’ and ‘Nothing too much’.
  • He is represented with a bow, and is linked to the laurel tree, the leaves of which were used by his priestess at the oracle of Delphi.
prophet, prophetess, sibyl, seer, augur, prognosticator, diviner, soothsayer, fortune teller, sage
1.2A person or thing regarded as an infallible authority or guide on something: casting the attorney general as the oracle for and guardian of the public interest is simply impossible
More example sentences
  • Alternately, I might just do whatever it told me to do, perhaps on the grounds that, since an infallible oracle has told me that I will do this, I should resign myself to the inevitable.
  • The oracle who is always consulted and cited on this subject is the celebrated Montesquieu.
  • My friendly handyman said no problem with that either, agreed on a price for both and said he'd probably be over on Tuesday but he'd phone and confirm that once he'd consulted his oracle, namely his work book.
authority, expert, specialist, pundit, mentor, adviser, guru
2A response or message given by an oracle, typically one that is ambiguous or obscure.


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin oraculum, from orare 'speak'.

Words that rhyme with oracle


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: or·a·cle

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