Origin: 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, 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.

(01 Mar 1998)

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