Meaning of oracle


Back in ancient times, an oracle was someone who offered advice or a prophecy thought to have come directly from a divine source. In modern usage, any good source of information can be called an oracle.

In his Apology, Plato claims that the oracle at Delphi played a vital role in the career of the philosopher Socrates, and a Delphic prophecy sets the tragedy of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex in motion. The word oracle can also be used to describe the utterances of a seer or anyone else who is pretty darn good at predicting the future.

Definitions of oracle
  1. noun

    a shrine where an oracular god is consulted

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    Oracle of Apollo

    (Greek mythology) the oracle at Delphi where a priestess supposedly delivered messages from Apollo to those who sought advice; the messages were usually obscure or ambiguous
    type of:


    a place of worship hallowed by association with some sacred thing or person

  2. noun

    an authoritative person who divines the future


    prophesier, prophet, seer, vaticinator

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    augur, auspex

    (ancient Rome) a religious official who interpreted omens to guide public policy

    a woman prophet

    (ancient Rome) a woman who was regarded as an oracle or prophet
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    someone who claims to discover hidden knowledge with the aid of supernatural powers

  3. noun

    a prophecy (usually obscure or allegorical) revealed by a priest or priestess; believed to be infallible

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    type of:

    divination, prophecy

    a prediction uttered under divine inspiration

Word Family

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