en·​sem·​ble | \ än-ˈsäm-bəl How to pronounce ensemble (audio) , äⁿ- \

Definition of ensemble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a group producing a single effect: such as
a : concerted music of two or more parts
b : a complete costume of harmonizing or complementary clothing and accessories
c(1) : the musicians engaged in the performance of a musical ensemble
(2) : a group of supporting players, singers, or dancers especially : corps de ballet



Definition of ensemble (Entry 2 of 2)

: emphasizing the roles of all performers as a whole rather than a star performance ensemble acting

Examples of ensemble in a Sentence

Noun We went to listen to a new jazz ensemble. She wore an elegant three-piece ensemble. The actor performed an ensemble piece.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The singer completed the ensemble with gold hoop earrings and a statement accessory — a burgundy Dior bucket hat. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Jennifer Lopez’s Matching Tracksuit Looks Are A Lesson In Elevated Loungewear," 31 Dec. 2020 Having already taken the subway while wearing a baby blue ball gown, and stepped out in an all-white winter look, J.Lo continues to delight fans with her style in yet another casual yet chic ensemble. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "J.Lo Rocks a Silk Gucci Tracksuit and a Coach Shearling Coat Ahead of Her NYE Performance," 31 Dec. 2020 The Christmas tree decoration in the accompanying photo shows the chanteuse in her red-and-white ensemble from her 1994 Merry Christmas album cover. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Mariah Carey Does Not Approve of This Fan's Festive Ornament," 17 Dec. 2020 This past weekend at her fiancé Alex Rodriguez's gym in Miami, the Hustlers actress showed up to sweat in an ensemble that could easily go from lifting dumbbells to downing some food at brunch. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "J.Lo Used Her $100,000 Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Birkin as a Gym Bag," 14 Dec. 2020 But his musical messages are in especially good hands with his own ensemble, now directed by the 96-year-old saxophonist Marshall Allen. New York Times, "Best Jazz Albums of 2020," 2 Dec. 2020 The 41-year-old completed her ensemble with a pair of magenta sandals and a black face mask. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Pregnant Rachel McAdams Takes Rare Stroll with Screenwriter Boyfriend Jamie Linden," 28 Aug. 2020 The model even styled her ensemble with a black straw hat for a beach-ready finish. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Makes the Case for Summer Knits," 20 Aug. 2020 But this wasn’t any ol’ red ensemble—Aguilera channelled a classic holiday textile in a more unexpectedly fresh way. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Christina Aguilera Glams Up the Holiday Suit," 16 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Those of us in the audience turned our heads to the rear of the church, where the Barclay Brass, a visionary ensemble borne out of the Washington area’s diverse musical community, had set up in a balcony alcove in front of the pipe organ. Washington Post, "With the Barclay Brass, D.C. takes an outsized role in the small world of classical brass music," 4 Jan. 2021 The ensemble backdrop is crystalline, misty sighs, while the solo cello line expands into melancholy arias without words; sometimes the tone is passionate, dark-hued nocturne, sometimes ethereal lullaby. New York Times, "Tyshawn Sorey: The Busiest Composer of the Bleakest Year," 1 Jan. 2021 More than 80,000 Americans could die of Covid-19 over the next three weeks, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ensemble forecast projects -- offering a stark reminder the nation is still facing challenging times. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "US sets daily Covid-19 death record for the second day in a row. Another 80,000 could die in next 3 weeks, new forecast says," 31 Dec. 2020 For peak comfort, why not opt for the trendy no-pants ensemble? Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Tracee Ellis Ross Has An Outfit For Every New Year’s Eve Mood," 31 Dec. 2020 Chicago’s Steep Theatre is expanding its ensemble, adding six new artists who recently worked with the theater. Doug George, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago’s Steep Theatre adds 13 members to its growing ensemble," 29 Dec. 2020 Spike Lee's Vietnam war film has a strong ensemble but Delroy Lindo is magnificent. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Need a holiday escape? 100 entertaining movies from 2020 you still have time to stream," 21 Dec. 2020 Instead of rehearsals at Balboa Park, the ensemble program is now online and uses SmartMusic and other apps. Beth Wood Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "For San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory — 75 this year — the music doesn’t stop," 19 Dec. 2020 Within that frame, the musical content took shape organically, the ideas of solo and ensemble, of foreground and background, blurred in magnificent manner. Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ, "An Album to Liberate a Genre," 18 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ensemble.' 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 ensemble


1750, in the meaning defined above


circa 1911, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ensemble


French, from ensemble together, from Old French, from Latin insimul at the same time, from in- + simul at the same time — more at same

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Time Traveler for ensemble

Time Traveler

The first known use of ensemble was in 1750

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Statistics for ensemble

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ensemble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensemble. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for ensemble


How to pronounce ensemble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ensemble

: a group of people or things that make up a complete unit (such as a musical group, a group of actors or dancers, or a set of clothes)


en·​sem·​ble | \ än-ˈsäm-bəl How to pronounce ensemble (audio) \

Kids Definition of ensemble

: a group of people or things making up a complete unit a musical ensemble She wore a three-piece ensemble.

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