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


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 city’s symphonic ensemble is joining forces with the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra and Creative City Project for Orchestrate. Trevor Fraser, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando Philharmonic wants to orchestrate a big sound for local bands," 13 June 2019 Dillard’s jazz ensemble is one of the top in the nation. Brittany Wallman, sun-sentinel.com, "Public schools get failing grades in new survey by Fort Lauderdale residents," 8 June 2019 The ensemble is a lesson in extravagance and makes a statement right off the bat that Rosaliá is in charge. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "Rosalía's New Music Video For "Aute Cuture" Is An Ode To Over-The-Top Nails," 31 May 2019 The final ensemble was vintage Gaga: a glittery black bra, panties, fishnet tights, and ridiculously high platform boots. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Lady Gaga’s Private Fashion Archive is Going on Display in Las Vegas—Infamous Dried Meat Dress Included," 30 May 2019 The prevailing beat of Salvador's annual carnaval, which draws nearly one million people, is called samba-reggae, a musical genre sometimes played by ensembles with upwards of 100 drummers. Stephanie Foden, National Geographic, "This Brazilian region is an African treasure on the other side of the Atlantic," 18 Mar. 2019 Completing the ensemble was that unmistakable symbol of imperialism, the pith helmet or solar topee. Nancy Macdonell, WSJ, "Why ‘Safari’ Style is No Longer Politically Correct," 23 Jan. 2019 The ensemble, known for its success in hip-hop majorette competitions, is on its latest national tour. BostonGlobe.com, "Things to do in Greater Boston this summer," 15 June 2018 The ensemble is solid—everyone has been cast to type, and nobody is being asked to stretch themselves—though they’re given no chance to rise above the inherently ludicrous material. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Tag, You’re Not It," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This was the most polished performance of the day, with good intonation and disciplined ensemble work from the orchestra. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Rare works shine in La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ season-closing concert," 11 June 2019 There is restraint and modesty in the Martínez’s songs and ensemble numbers. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Review: A Mariachi Opera Addresses Roiling Issues of Immigration," 26 Jan. 2018 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

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

24 Jun 2019

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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 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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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

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