en·​sem·​ble | \än-ˈsäm-bəl, 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


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

Paired with jewelry in the style of Ndebele neck rings, the ensemble made for a regal statement, as Campbell picked up an award for her humanitarian work. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Naomi Campbell Used Her Global Citizen Wardrobe to Showcase International Design," 5 Dec. 2018 The ensemble started with his hair, which Ezra wore spiked in various directions. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ezra Miller Used Glitter and a Feather-Covered Top to Dress as Hedwig at the “Fantastic Beasts” Premiere," 13 Nov. 2018 The ensembles Charlotte and her fellow bridesmaids wore were subtly personalized as well. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Revealed the Sweetest Detail About Prince George's Royal Wedding Outfit," 26 Oct. 2018 Rumor has it that Lady Gaga is in the running for Ursula's role in the live action Little Mermaid reboot, and the only thing that could be better is if Cardi joins the ensemble. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Behold Cardi B Using a Dinglehopper to Brush Her Hair," 16 Oct. 2018 The ensemble featured short sleeves and an off-the-shoulder fit. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore an Off-the-Shoulder Tweed Dress by Erdem to the Victoria and Albert Museum," 10 Oct. 2018 Aside from the silk suit and gold chains that tie the whole ensemble together, Appleton bumps up the braid even more by sitting it all the way atop Lopez's head and fastening it in place with a black scrunchie. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Jennifer Lopez Shows Off Her "Bronx Barbie" Look and Baby Hair on Instagram," 8 Oct. 2018 The ensemble also came equipped with hundreds of fluttering butterflies carried down the runway by a full entourage of shadowy figures – not kidding. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "If You Thought Gigi Hadid's Wedding Dress Was Crazy From the Front, Wait Until You See the Back," 21 Sep. 2018 Nevertheless, the Twitterverse was bursting with questions on the ensemble. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Melania Trump sports pricey Gucci coat to welcome Polish president," 19 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The British singer went from holding balloons in a sweet and summery lilac polka dot set to dancing with her friends in an ensemble fit for the hard-partying island. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Dua Lipa Celebrates Her Birthday in Ibiza With 2 Drastically Different Looks," 22 Aug. 2018 Gomez wears an ensemble fit for the French countryside: a vintage white skirt and a sleeveless orange-and-yellow crop top. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Watch Selena Gomez Dress Like a ’60s New Wave French Muse in Her New Music Video," 5 June 2018 As ever, fashion offers clues: For that opening sequence, Patricia Field put Sarah Jessica Parker in the now-historic outfit of pink tank top and white tutu — an ensemble rich in cultural resonance. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "Carrie Bradshaw’s Tutu Paradox," 1 June 2018 Rossmiller has played trumpet with the Minnesota Wind Ensemble, University of Minnesota Brass Choir and many small ensemble groups throughout the Minneapolis area. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Menomonee Falls High School to induct three into Hall of Fame," 11 May 2018 The Berklee in Puerto Rico program provides access to the Berklee method of music education, encompassing theory, ear training, improvisation, ensemble performance and instrumental instruction. Justino Aguila, Billboard, "Berklee College of Music Provides Puerto Rican Musicians $1.5 Million in Scholarships," 21 June 2018 The camp is open to Griswold instrumental music students entering grades 6 to 12 in the fall and will work on improving instrumental and ensemble skills, with opportunities for fun activities as well. Courant Community, "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 12 June 2018 Tempos were brisk and the ensemble playing was tight. Christian Hertzog, sandiegouniontribune.com, "A rare, fiery performance of a Rebel ballet kicks off Mainly Mozart Festival," 10 June 2018 The camp is open to Griswold instrumental music students entering grades 6 to 12 in the fall and will work on improving instrumental and ensemble skills, with opportunities for fun activities as well. Courant Community, "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 12 June 2018

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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Statistics for ensemble

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ensemble

The first known use of ensemble was in 1750

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More Definitions for ensemble



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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on ensemble

Spanish Central: Translation of ensemble

Nglish: Translation of ensemble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ensemble for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ensemble

What made you want to look up ensemble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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