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See also: Oratory


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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɒɹət(ə)ɹi/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɔ.ɹə.tɔ.ɹi/
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English oratorie, from Anglo-Norman oratorie, Middle French oratoire, and their source, Late Latin ōrātōrium. Doublet of oratorio.

London Oratory (2 and 3).


oratory (plural oratories)

  1. A private chapel or prayer room. [from 14th c.]
    • 1764, Horace Walpole, “chapter II”, in The Castle of Otranto:
      I will retire to my oratory, and pray to the blessed Virgin to inspire you with her holy counsels [] .
  2. A Roman Catholic chapel; a building for public or private worship that is not a parish church.
    • 1876, Michael Comerford, The Book of Holy Indulgences [] , page 29:
      By public oratories are meant those attached to monasteries, convents, seminaries, etc., having a public entrance by which the faithful have access to them.
  3. (specifically) A Catholic church belonging to the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.
    • 2006, Judith F. Champ, William Bernard Ullathorne, 1806–1889: A Different Kind of Monk, →ISBN, page 168:
      They had been given the old Oscott College premises as a temporary home, but were content there until Oratories could be established in the cities. St Philip Neri had specifically intended that the Oratory should be a city-based form of communal and missionary life.
Alternative forms[edit]
  • (church of the Oratory of St Philip Neri): Oratory

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from Latin ōrātōria, from the feminine of ōrātōrius (oratorial).


oratory (uncountable)

  1. The art of public speaking, especially in a formal, expressive, or forceful manner. [from 16th c.]
  2. Eloquence; the quality of artistry and persuasiveness in speech or writing.

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of oratorie