Meaning "to entertain with food and drink without expense to the recipient by way of compliment or kindness (or bribery)" is recorded from c. 1500. Sense of "deal with, handle, or develop in speech or writing" (early 14c.) led to the use in medicine "to attempt to heal or cure, to manage in the application of remedies" (1781). Related: Treated; treating.
late 14c., oracioun, "a prayer," from Late Latin orationem (nominative oratio) "a speaking, speech, discourse; language, faculty of speech, mode of expressing; prayer," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin ōrare "to pray to, plead, speak before an assembly" (see orator). The usual Old French form was oraison. Meaning "formal speech, discourse, eloquent or weighty address" is recorded from c. 1500.
mid-15c., peroracioun, "a speech, an address," in rhetoric, "the concluding part of an address," involving an emphatic restatement of the principal points, from Latin perorationem (nominative peroratio) "the ending of a speech or argument of a case," from past-participle stem of perorare "argue a case to the end, bring a speech to a close," from per "to the end," hence "thoroughly, completely" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + ōrare "to speak, plead" (see orator).
word-forming element meaning "speech," from Greek -phemia, from phēmē "speech," from stem of phemi "I speak," cognate with Latin fari "to speak," fama "report, reputation" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say").
"words spoken at the end of a speech in a play that are the signal for an answering speech," 1550s, of uncertain origin. By one theory it is a spelling out of Q, the letter, which was used 16c., 17c. in stage plays to indicate actors' entrances and was explained at the time as an abbreviation of Latin quando "when" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns) or a similar Latin adverb. Shakespeare's printed texts have it as both Q and cue. Cue as a name for "the letter Q" is attested from 1755.
Transferred to music by 1880. Figurative sense of "sign or hint to speak or act" is from 1560s. The television reader's cue-card is attested by 1948.