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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Goldblum and his stylist Andrew Vottero weren’t going to choose just any white ensemble. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Just Give In to Jeff Goldblum’s Winter White Sundance Vision," 30 Jan. 2019 Princess Diana's ensemble at the time consisted of a red and purple look by her go-to designer, Catherine Walker, with a matching wide-brim hat by Philip Somerville. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Channeled One of Princess Diana's Most Famous Outfits," 15 Jan. 2019 Hyland fits right in, having become a household name years ago thanks to her role as Haley Dunphy on ABC’s Modern Family, the award-winning ensemble comedy that has been running for nearly a decade. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Dialysis and Her Second Kidney Transplant," 10 Dec. 2018 This isn’t the first time that Blake has paired two similar styles together for one powerful ensemble; back in August, the 31-year-old chose to rock two velvet blazers, layered on top of one another for a uniquely chic vibe. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Blake Lively Wears Sequined Dress and Matching Thigh-High Boots at Chanel Métiers d'Art Show," 9 Dec. 2018 The performance of the carol by Austria’s Kroll Family Singers and ensembles from Trinity Church took place at the Alexander Hamilton memorial in the Trinity churchyard. Deepti Hajela, The Seattle Times, "200 years of ‘Silent Night’: Singers mark carol’s birthday," 28 Nov. 2018 Princess Diana had previously worn that particular diadem numerous times before Kate did, but the connection to Duchess's late mother-in-law wasn't what had royal watchers particularly excited about this ensemble. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The First Photos of Kate Middleton Wearing an Special Honor From the Queen Are Breathtaking," 24 Oct. 2018 This change in track can be discerned from the ensemble forecast from the European model initialized at 8am Monday (12:00 UTC) on the left in the image below, and the European model initialized at 8pm Tuesday (00:00 UTC Wednesday). Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Hurricane Florence forecast has gone from bad to worse," 12 Sep. 2018 The march will feature the Old Guard Fife and Drum, one of the U.S Army's four premier musical ensembles. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "World War I Military Parade Will Cost $12 Million," 19 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The key is to keep the rest of your ensemble sleek and streamlined so that the shapes balance each other. Avery Matera, Glamour, "17 Ways to Wear Thigh-High Boots This Winter," 11 Jan. 2019 After rumors that this year's Kardashian Christmas card had been canceled, the famous family released their latest ensemble photo on Christmas Eve. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Kardashian Christmas Card 2018 Is Here, But Some Key Family Members Are Missing," 24 Dec. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ensemble

Statistics for ensemble

Last Updated

4 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ensemble

The first known use of ensemble was in 1750

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ensemble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!