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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Oratio(u)n(e, n. Also: orac(i)on(e, orasione. [e.m.E. oracion (Caxton), oration, L. ōrātio (also MF. oration beside OF. oreison Oraiso(u)n n. and OF. orison Oriso(u)n n.).]More or less coinciding in use with Oraiso(u)n n. and Oriso(u)n n.

1. The act of praying, prayer; also, an instance of this, a prayer.(1) a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 17.
Thai suld dresse thare deuocione In prayere & in oracione
Ib. xxviii. 407.
Than rase scho fra hyr oracion
Ib. xxxvi. 840.
He mekly knelit done Makand to God his oracione
Ib. xviii. 129, 292, xxvii. 102; etc. a1568 Bann. MS. 31 b/12.
Syne sone allone till oratioun I went
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 156/39.
Of the sacrifice of oratioun, prayer and almous deid
Ib. 178/7.
To elevate oure hartis … in tyme of oratioun and prayer
1578 Reg. Privy S. VII. 250/2.
Service of devote oratioun and prayer for his hienes … weilfair … of the saidis twa benefices
(2) c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1230.
To thair goddis orationis thai pray … To send thame the flour of victorie
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 155/4.
For thais of the new learnyng has inventit certane oratiouns and ceremoniis to decoir thair commwnioune
Ib. 175/6. Id. Oratioune (title).

2. a. A formal or set speech or discourse in more or less elevated or dignified language. b. A set-piece discourse or exposition by way of moral or explanatory comment on some fact, historical event or events, or the like.a. 1560 Cal. Sc. P. I. 479.
Ane oracion [made to the Pope in name of the King and Queen]
1570-3 Bann. Trans. 380.
They sought … to lay the blame of his death vpon thame, whilk this young man did … in open scholes in his orasione
a1578 Pitsc. I. 308 h. of ch.
Maister Patrik's oratioun
1603 Philotus lv.
Heir followis the oratioun of the ȝonker Flavius to the madyn
1638 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 44.
Mr. David Dixon & Mr. Robert Baily were ordayned to make an oracon the next day to refute those Armynian points
1641 Baillie I. 347.
In the end … he made such ane pathetick oratioun [etc.] … as ever comedian did upon a stage
b. c1520-c1535 Nisbet I. 3.
The gospell may be callit a schort or lang oratioun of Christ
a1578 Pitsc. I. 326 h. of ch. Ib. 390 h. of ch.
The oratioun anent the samyn

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"Oration n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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