c. 1600, "to pray, to plead," from Latin oratus, past participle of ōrare "speak, pray to, plead, speak before a court or assembly" (see orator). The meaning "make a formal speech, talk loftily," used humorously or contemptuously, emerged c. 1860 in American English as a back-formation of oration. Related: Orated; orating.
updated on January 04, 2020
Dictionary entries near orate