Definitions

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

  • n. A formal speech, especially one given on a ceremonial occasion.
  • n. A speech delivered in a high-flown or pompous manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a formal ceremonial speech
  • v. To deliver an oration; to speak.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An elaborate discourse, delivered in public, treating an important subject in a formal and dignified manner; especially, a discourse having reference to some special occasion, as a funeral, an anniversary, a celebration, or the like; -- distinguished from an argument in court, a popular harangue, a sermon, a lecture, etc..
  • intransitive v. To deliver an oration.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A formal speech or discourse; an eloquent or weighty address.
  • n. A prayer; supplication; petition.
  • n. Noise; uproar.
  • To make an address; deliver a speech.

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

  • n. an instance of oratory

Etymologies

Middle English oracion, prayer, from Late Latin ōrātiō, ōrātiōn-, from Latin, discourse, from ōrātus, past participle of ōrāre, to speak.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin ōrātiō, from ōrō ("I orate") + -ātiō ("action (nominalizer)"). Cognate with orison. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • - to three epigrams, and a fingle oration* It is, however, the very oration that I was moft felicitous to obtain j for, aks! with grief I confefs, that although feven orators ha - rangued upon the queftion, one alone had generofity enough tq argue on the fide of the neglefted fifterhood; with what powers of rhetoric, my reader will very foon have K3 the

    A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Essay on Old Maids

  • If an oration is too long, "it should be divided and each single part should be excellently shaped and put in a certain place in right order, that is, so that one thought may follow another without interruption or disturbance."

    Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro

  • Complete text of the three hour long mutual admiration oration is available at the Mitchieville pay site.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • When Bill Clinton was going through the throes of impeachment, we heard a lot of oration from the Right about his lack of "moral leadership" and how he was "letting us down" through his human failings.

    April 2004

  • But the main oration perfectly enshrines much of the sentimental self-image of England as something miniature and vulnerable, albeit stern and defiant.

    That Blessed Plot, That Enigmatic Isle

  • And I was in the middle of a great oration from a sort of stage, with a lot of maps behind me, when someone rushed in and said, "You are wanted urgently on the telephone."

    D-Day Dinner

  • Captain Von Papen also delivered an oration from the dock about the Providence Journal.

    Three Years of Germany's War on the United States

  • These words inspired Rich Lowry, Ann Coulter and Powerline to dub the oration "the throw grandma under the bus" speech.

    Conor Friedersdorf: Obama's Grandmother

  • The oration was a very elegant performance, but not without much Art -- a few Strokes which to me injure the performance.

    Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 14 April 1776

  • The great Fléchier was charged with pronouncing her funeral oration, which is regarded as one of the masterpieces of eloquence of French pulpit oratory.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

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