1. (Mus.) A more or less dramatic text or poem, founded on some Scripture nerrative, or great divine
event, elaborately set to music, in recitative, arias, grand choruses, etc., to be sung with an orchestral
accompaniment, but without action, scenery, or costume, although the oratorio grew out of the Mysteries
and the Miracle and Passion plays, which were acted.
There are instances of secular and mythological subjects treated in the form of the oratorios, and called
oratorios by their composers; as Haydn's "Seasons," Handel's "Semele," etc.
2. Performance or rendering of such a composition.
(Or`a*to"ri*ous) a. [LL. oratorius.] Oratorical. [Obs.] Jer. Taylor. Or`a*to"ri*ous*ly,
(Or"a*tor*ize) v. i. To play the orator. [Jocose or derisive] Dickens.
(Or"a*to*ry) n.; pl. Oratories [OE. oratorie, fr. L. oratorium, fr. oratorius of praying, of an
orator: cf. F. oratoire. See Orator, Oral, and cf. Oratorio.] A place of orisons, or prayer; especially, a
chapel or small room set apart for private devotions.
An oratory [temple] . . . in worship of Dian.Chaucer.
Do not omit thy prayers for want of a good oratory, or place to pray in.Jer. Taylor. Fathers of the Oratory (R. C. Ch.), a society of priests founded by St. Philip Neri, living in community,
and not bound by a special vow. The members are called also oratorians.
(Or"a*to*ry), n. [L. oratoria (sc. ars) the oratorical art.] The art of an orator; the art of public
speaking in an eloquent or effective manner; the exercise of rhetorical skill in oral discourse; eloquence.
"The oratory of Greece and Rome." Milton.
When a world of menShak.
Could not prevail with all their oratory.
(Or"a*tress) n. A woman who makes public addresses. Warner.
(Or"a*trix) n. [L.] A woman plaintiff, or complainant, in equity pleading. Burrill.
(Orb) n. [OF. orb blind, fr. L. orbus destitute.] (Arch.) A blank window or panel. [Obs.] Oxf.
(Orb), n. [F. orbe, fr. L. orbis circle, orb. Cf. Orbit.]
1. A spherical body; a globe; especially, one of the celestial spheres; a sun, planet, or star.
In the small orb of one particular tear.Shak.
Whether the prime orb,Milton.
Incredible how swift, had thither rolled.
2. One of the azure transparent spheres conceived by the ancients to be inclosed one within another,
and to carry the heavenly bodies in their revolutions.
3. A circle; esp., a circle, or nearly circular orbit, described by the revolution of a heavenly body; an orbit.
The schoolmen were like astronomers, which did feign eccentrics, and epicycles, and such engines of