Definitions

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

  • n. A prayer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A prayer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A prayer; a supplication.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A prayer.

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

  • n. reverent petition to a deity

Etymologies

Middle English orisoun, from Old French orison, from Late Latin ōrātiō, ōrātiōn-; see oration.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman oreison, oresoun etc. and Old French oraisun etc., from Latin ōrātiō ("discourse, prayer") (English oration). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The "orison" of the title is a device that allows a holographic movie to be played and Sonmi-451's tale preserved as such will somehow get into the hands of the last hero Zach'ry, a primitive tribesman in a post-apocalyptic future.

    Masterpieces of the 00's decade: "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu)

  • It kind of reminds me of the "orison" in the central chapter of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas -- a communicator, a recorder and player of print and visual information, a mapping device, etc. -- technology so advanced it feels like magic.

    Talking about e-readers with smart booksellers

  • The next character sees this story projected holographically in an "orison," a futuristic recording device.

    cbrimble Diary Entry

  • On semi-doubles and those of a lesser rite the suffrages are now reduced to a single antiphon and orison which is common to all the saints heretofore commemorated, whilst the preces ( "Miserere" and versicles) formerly imposed on the greater feriæ are now suppressed.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 15: Tournely-Zwirner

  • The 1st ed. has "orison" both here and in 740 (the ed. of

    The Lady of the Lake

  • That mighty pause before the class,—that orison and benediction—how much of my life it has been and made.

    DARKWATER

  • Zach'ry who starts as another young and well intentioned if "ignorant" tribesman, has his life turned upside down by the orison and by contact with the last advanced tech survivors...

    Masterpieces of the 00's decade: "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu)

  • Taking the idea from Pathfinder that cantrips and orisons can be cast ‘at-will’ (pretty much), all the at will powers can be become a cantrip or orison; or we can give other classes a new name – i.e. ‘maneuver’

    D&D 4e’s Out… And It’s Awful. Here’s Why « Geek Related

  • “Or, gracious Lady!” he concluded his orison, “if it is my doom to lose my life like a hunted fox amidst this savage wilderness of tottering crags, restore at least my natural sense of patience and courage, and let not one who has lived like a man, though a sinful one, meet death like a timid hare!”

    Anne of Geierstein

  • More especially as all men, of whatever trade and degree, hold respect to the holy saint who patronizeth his own mystery; so I hope you, being a merchant, will not pass the Chapel of Our Lady of the Ferry without making some fitting orison.

    Anne of Geierstein

Comments

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  • Reading Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth", "Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle / Can patter out their hasty orisons." Lead me to Hamlet and the nymph bit. Seems a useful word for prayer in extremity.

    October 26, 2012

  • I read (and enjoyed, with obligatory smirk) Malory at a relatively young age - I think I was 18 or 19 - but not before playing the wondrous Lancelot (warning, big pic) on my ZX Spectrum. What a game that was, the apogee of text adventure in the primitive, quirky sense.

    September 13, 2009

  • "And on a Saturday they found an old chapel, the which was wasted that there seemed no man thither repaired; and there they alit, and set their spears at the door, and in they entered into the chapel, and there made their orisons a great while, and set them down in the sieges of the chapel."
    - Thomas Malory, 'The Holy Grail'.

    September 13, 2009

  • This word always makes me think of Henry V.

    "Alas, your too much love and care of me
    Are heavy orisons 'gainst this poor wretch!
    If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
    Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our eye
    When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd and digested,
    Appear before us? ..."
    (Sc. 2)

    February 17, 2009