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From Middle English orisoun, from Anglo-Norman oreison, oresoun etc. and Old French oraisun etc., from Latin ōrātiō, ōrātiōnem (discourse, prayer) (whence also English oration).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɒɹɪsən/, /ˈɒɹɪzən/


orison (plural orisons)

  1. A prayer.
  2. Mystical contemplation or communion.
    • 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture 3:
      We shall see later that the absence of definite sensible images is positively insisted on by the mystical authorities in all religions as the sine qua non of a successful orison, or contemplation of the higher divine truths.
    • 1911, Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism: A Study of the Nature and Development of Man's Spiritual Consciousness, Part I, Chapter 3
      Only in certain occult and mystics states: in orison, contemplation, ecstasy and their allied conditions, does the self contrive to turn out the usual tenants, shut the "gateways of the flash," and let those submerged powers which are capable of picking up messages from another plane of being have their turn.

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