from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A shrine consecrated to the worship and consultation of a prophetic deity, as that of Apollo at Delphi.
  • n. A person, such as a priestess, through whom a deity is held to respond when consulted.
  • n. The response given through such a medium, often in the form of an enigmatic statement or allegory.
  • n. A person considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinions.
  • n. An authoritative or wise statement or prediction.
  • n. A command or revelation from God.
  • n. In the Bible, the sanctuary of the Temple.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A shrine dedicated to some prophetic deity.
  • n. A person such as a priest through whom the deity is supposed to respond with prophecy or advice.
  • n. A prophetic response, often enigmatic or allegorical, so given.
  • n. A person considered to be a source of wisdom.
  • n. A theoretical entity capable of answering some collection of questions.
  • v. To utter oracles or prophecies.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The answer of a god, or some person reputed to be a god, to an inquiry respecting some affair or future event, as the success of an enterprise or battle.
  • n. The deity who was supposed to give the answer; also, the place where it was given.
  • n. The communications, revelations, or messages delivered by God to the prophets; also, the entire sacred Scriptures -- usually in the plural.
  • n. The sanctuary, or Most Holy place in the temple; also, the temple itself.
  • n. One who communicates an oracle{1} or divine command; an angel; a prophet.
  • n. Any person reputed uncommonly wise; one whose decisions are regarded as of great authority.
  • n. A wise pronouncement or decision considered as of great authority.
  • intransitive v. To utter oracles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To utter oracles.
  • n. In classical antiquity: An utterance given by a priest or priestess of a god, in the name of the god and, as was believed, by his inspiration, in answer to a human inquiry, usually respecting some future event, as the success of an enterprise or battle, or some proposed line of conduct.
  • n. The deity who was supposed to give such answers to inquiries.
  • n. The place where oracular answers were given; the sanctuary, temple, or adytum whence the supposed supernatural responses proceeded.
  • n. Hence, by extension — The communications, revelations, or instruction delivered by God to or through his prophets: rarely used in the singular: as, the oracles of God; the divine oracles.
  • n. The sanctuary or most holy place in the temple, in which was deposited the ark of the covenant (1 Ki. vi. 19): sometimes used for the temple itself.
  • n. A source or repository of the divine will that may be consulted or drawn upon.
  • n. An uncommonly wise person, whose opinions are of great authority, and whose determinations are not disputed.
  • n. A wise saying or an authoritative decision given by such a person.
  • n. Something that is looked upon as an infallible guide or standard of reference.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an authoritative person who divines the future
  • n. a shrine where an oracular god is consulted
  • n. a prophecy (usually obscure or allegorical) revealed by a priest or priestess; believed to be infallible


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ōrāculum, from ōrāre, to speak.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French oracle.


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