There are 2 main definitions of oratory in English:

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oratory 1

Syllabification: or·a·to·ry
Pronunciation: /ˈôrəˌtôrē/

noun (plural oratories)

1A small chapel, especially for private worship.
[ Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French oratorie, from ecclesiastical Latin oratorium, based on Latin orare 'pray, speak']
Example sentences
  • At the same time, the Filippine Order was spreading its wings, and oratories were set up in many cities in Roman Catholic countries.
  • The oratories tended to have permanent officers under the direction of the rector of the local baptismal church.
  • There are the remains of a number of oratories and some stone monuments that may be pre-Christian.
2 (Oratory) (In the Roman Catholic Church) a religious society of secular priests founded in Rome in 1564 to provide plain preaching and popular services and established in various countries.
[From Congregation of the Fathers of the Oratory]


noun& adjective
sense 2.
Example sentences
  • The Oratorians have maintained Gregorian chant, polyphony, Latin, the whole nine yards, and it is usually packed for a Sunday high mass.
  • One of my favorite short rules is the one John Henry Newman provided in 1856 for his fellow Oratorians in Birmingham.
  • Privat de Molières studied at Oratorian schools in Aix, Marseilles, Arles and Angers.

Words that rhyme with oratory

exploratory, laboratory
Definition of oratory in:
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There are 2 main definitions of oratory in English:

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oratory 2 Syllabification: or·a·to·ry
Pronunciation: /ˈôrəˌtôrē/


1The art or practice of formal speaking in public.
Example sentences
  • ‘By any standards public oratory is appalling’, claimed Donald Horne in The Lucky Country.
  • There are various different schools of public oratory.
  • Fred Turner was a gifted speaker, attracted to books and public oratory.
rhetoric, eloquence, grandiloquence, magniloquence, public speaking, speech-making, declamation, way with words
informal gift of (the) gab, silver tongue
1.1Exaggerated, eloquent, or highly colored language: learned discussions degenerated into pompous oratory
More example sentences
  • Crowds delighted in speeches filled with double talk ridiculing the pompous, bombastic oratory that characterized familiar memorial rituals.
  • Although identified as a fierce partisan, he received high marks from members of both political parties for his hard work, reasonableness, and eloquent oratory.
  • Each of these bands was headed by both a war leader and a civil leader, the former chosen because of his reputation as a warrior, and the later chosen because of his eloquent oratory.


Early 16th century: from Latin oratoria, feminine (used as a noun) of oratorius 'relating to an orator'.

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