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

n a shrine where an oracular god is consulted

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

n an authoritative person who divines the future

prophesier, prophet, seer, vaticinator
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
Type of:
someone who claims to discover hidden knowledge with the aid of supernatural powers

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

Type of:
divination, prophecy
a prediction uttered under divine inspiration

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