cho·​re·​og·​ra·​phy | \ˌkȯr-ē-ˈä-grə-fē \
plural choreographies

Definition of choreography 

1 : the art of symbolically representing dancing

2a : the composition and arrangement of dances especially for ballet

b : a composition created by this art

3 : something resembling choreography a snail-paced choreography of delicate high diplomacy— Wolfgang Saxon

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Other Words from choreography

choreographic \ˌkȯr-​ē-​ə-​ˈgra-​fik \ adjective
choreographically \-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Did You Know?

In ancient Greece, a choreia was a circular dance accompanied by a singing chorus. But the actual notating of dances by means of symbols didn't begin until the 17th or 18th century, when ballet developed into a complex art form in France. The choreographer of a major ballet, which might run to an hour or more, will always record his or her work in notation, though choreographing a five-minute segment for a TV talent show usually doesn't require any record at all.

Examples of choreography in a Sentence

He has an interest in choreography. a show with excellent choreography

Recent Examples on the Web

To the lighthearted mix of an improbable book stitched around tunes – some catchy, some not – by the Swedish pop group ABBA, the Walnut adds Richard Stafford’s deftly comedic choreography and touching performances by two of the leads. Julia M. Klein,, "'Mamma Mia!' at the Walnut: Despite the clichés, lighthearted fun," 24 May 2018 Swift's show is intense, after all, and filled with choreography and pyrotechnics that probably make performing it in the rain tricky. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Taylor Swift Ripping Off Her Fake Eyelashes in Concert Is a Big Mood," 5 Nov. 2018 With choreography and couture printed on the invitation, the red carpet—a parade of taffeta and tulle—did not disappoint. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The New York City Ballet Hosts a Fall Gala to Remember With Costumes by Gareth Pugh, Alberta Ferretti, and Giles Deacon," 28 Sep. 2018 The complex production of music, drill, choreography and staging that is Drum Corps International marches into Orlando’s Camping World Stadium on Sunday, July 8, 2018. Anne Dunlap,, "Drum Corps International marches into Orlando," 6 July 2018 But both Nick Thornton's no-frills choreography and Robert Ollis's straight-ahead musical direction are fittingly—if unengagingly—workmanlike. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "Haymarket is a workmanlike ode to the working man," 28 June 2018 Through intricate choreography and cues, the Shadows are responsible for propelling the Angel into the air and operating her heavy wings. New York Times, "This Angel in America Takes Wing With Help From 5 Shadows," 21 June 2018 Palermo, who spent a decade performing in Broadway productions, is an assistant professor specializing in musical theater choreography and dance. Lou Ponsi,, "Former Broadway performer directs UCI's ‘American Idiot’ production," 31 May 2018 Negron said learning Graham's choreography for the Bride puts her in the right mental state to deliver the character on stage. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Why the lead dancer in 'Appalachian Spring' must be a 'strong and complex woman'," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'choreography.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of choreography

circa 1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for choreography

French chorégraphie, from Greek choreia + French -graphie -graphy

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for choreography

The first known use of choreography was circa 1789

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English Language Learners Definition of choreography

: the art or job of deciding how dancers will move in a performance; also : the movements that are done by dancers in a performance


cho·​re·​og·​ra·​phy | \ˌkȯr-ē-ˈä-grə-fē \

Kids Definition of choreography

1 : the art of arranging the movements of dancers for a performance and especially a ballet

2 : the arrangement of a dance The choreography for the video won an award.

Other Words from choreography

choreographer \-​fər \ noun

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Spanish Central: Translation of choreography

Nglish: Translation of choreography for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about choreography

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