O o


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [awr-uh-tawr-ee-oh, -tohr-, or-]
    • /ˌɔr əˈtɔr iˌoʊ, -ˈtoʊr-, ˌɒr-/
    • /ˌɒr.əˈtɔː.ri.əʊ/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [awr-uh-tawr-ee-oh, -tohr-, or-]
    • /ˌɔr əˈtɔr iˌoʊ, -ˈtoʊr-, ˌɒr-/

Definitions of oratorio word

  • noun plural oratorio an extended musical composition with a text more or less dramatic in character and usually based upon a religious theme, for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra, and performed without action, costume, or scenery. 1
  • noun oratorio A large-scale musical work for orchestra and voices, typically a narrative on a religious theme, performed without the use of costumes, scenery, or action. Well-known examples include Bach‘s Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah, and Haydn's The Creation. 1
  • noun oratorio religious musical piece 1
  • countable noun oratorio An oratorio is a long piece of music with a religious theme which is written for singers and an orchestra. 0
  • noun oratorio a dramatic but unstaged musical composition for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, based on a religious theme 0
  • noun oratorio a long, dramatic musical composition, usually on a religious theme, consisting of arias, recitatives, choruses, etc. sung to orchestral accompaniment but without stage action, scenery, or costumes 0

Information block about the term

Origin of oratorio

First appearance:

before 1625
One of the 42% oldest English words
1625-35; < Italian: small chapel < Late Latin ōrātōrium oratory2; so named from the musical services in the church of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Rome

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Oratorio


oratorio popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 80% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
This word is included in each student's vocabulary. Most likely there is at least one movie with this word in the title.

oratorio usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for oratorio

noun oratorio

  • chant — A chant is a word or group of words that is repeated over and over again.
  • ditty — a poem intended to be sung.
  • paean — any song of praise, joy, or triumph.
  • psalm — a sacred song or hymn.
  • aria — An aria is a song for one of the leading singers in an opera or choral work.

Top questions with oratorio

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See also

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