Last modified on 16 October 2014, at 17:55

oracular

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle French oraculaire

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɒɹˈæk.juː.lə/, /ɔːˈɹæk.juː.lə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɔˈɹæk.ju.lɚ/, /ɔˈɹæk.jə.lɚ/

AdjectiveEdit

oracular

  1. Of or relating to an oracle.
    • 1810, Sir Walter Scott, Lady of the Lake
      In some of the Hebrides they attributed the same oracular power to a large black stone by the sea-shore, which they approached with certain solemnities, and considered the first fancy which came into their own minds, after they did so, to be the undoubted dictate of the tutelar deity of the stone, and, as such, to be, if possible, punctually complied with.
    • 2006, Lisa Hill, The Passionate Society: the social, political and moral thought of Adam Ferguson
      Ferguson's sin consisted in his oracular 'unmasking' of a 'second-rate sort of society, full of second rate citizens, pursuing comparatively worthless objects.'
  2. Prophetic, foretelling the future.
    • 1844, William Makepeace Thackeray, Barry Lyndon
      My Lord Chatham, whose wisdom his party in those days used to call superhuman, raised his oracular voice in the House of Peers against the American contest;
  3. Ambiguous, hard to interpret.
    • 1754, Horace Walpole, letter to John Chute
      Nothing offended me but that lisping Miss Haughton, whose every speech is inarticulately oracular.
    • 1895, Andrew Dickson White, History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom
      This utterance was admirably oracular, being susceptible of cogent quotation by both sides []

Related termsEdit

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