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

At a recent rehearsal of the pivotal ball scene, where the two offspring of the feuding Capulet and Montague families first set eyes on one another (and clamp lips), director John Langs was refining some complex choreography with the ensemble. Misha Berson, The Seattle Times, "Here’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ like you’ve never seen it, with the star-crossed lovers bridging the gap between American Sign Language and English," 20 Feb. 2019 Her second outfit was a full black ensemble with statement hoop earrings. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez’s New Music Video for “Taki Taki” is Her Hottest Yet," 10 Oct. 2018 For their outfits, head-to-toe black ensembles with hints of bold colors were replaced with sepia suits with muted hues. Devon Abelman, Allure, "The Rose Opens Up About the Pressure to Have Good Skin in K-Pop and Beyond," 5 Oct. 2018 Thick fabrics reminiscent of post-World War II styles were used evocatively in a midnight blue cape coat and a three-piece ensemble with a fringed spiral-sleeve bolero. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Dior celebrates the atelier, draws celebs to Paris couture," 2 July 2018 The reality star/entrepreneur paired a two-piece ensemble by Versace with braids, an interesting choice considering she was knocked for wearing them in January. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "Kim Kardashian West slammed as 'ignorant' for wearing braids at MTV Movie & TV Awards," 19 June 2018 Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello and Jonathan Anderson showed substantial belts that added a little curve to their ensembles. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The 8 Best Accessory Trends of Fall 2019," 14 Mar. 2019 But vintage dressing does fall within Markle's penchant for sustainable choices with her ensembles. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Amal Clooney and Meghan Markle Go to the Same Vintage Dealer," 13 Mar. 2019 Her ensemble featured a white suit by Catherine Walker with drum majorette gold frogging and epaulettes, along with an impeccable white cap. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Channels Princess Diana and Kate Middleton at Commonwealth Day Service," 11 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

15 Apr 2019

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 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

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).


having no equal

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