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 youngster was dressed casually for the outing, looking adorable in a blue ensemble that included a button-up shirt and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap, complete with tiny trousers and white sneakers. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Ennis' Big Debut! Kirsten Dunst Brings 15-Month-Old Son to Her Walk of Fame Star Ceremony," 29 Aug. 2019 Among the other big names in the film’s ensemble cast are Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Canavale, Michael K. Williams, and Leslie Mann. Isaac Feldberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Trailer drops for Edward Norton’s ‘Mortherless Brooklyn’," 25 Aug. 2019 Also featured in the ensemble cast of the Apple TV+ production are Billy Crudup (Almost Famous), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights), and Mark Duplass (The Mindy Project), who will play the anchors' co-workers. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "The Trailer for 'The Morning Show,' Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon's New TV Series, Is Here," 19 Aug. 2019 Appearing in the ensemble will be Jacob Atencio, Grace Davis, Mitch Krassin and Ashley Perez. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Patio Playhouse presents the musical ‘Little Women’ opening Friday," 14 Aug. 2019 While most students are away for the summer, a small group of music students have been meeting regularly to rehearse chamber music in an ensemble. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll student musicians studying over the summer to present concert," 31 July 2019 Harden regularly turned heads last season for wearing fresh-off-the--runway ensembles. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "How Athletes Are Turning Arena Entrances into Fashion Shows," 22 July 2019 Orlando Ballet fans, take note: Arcadian Broad dances in the ensemble in his last local performance before joining the Cincinnati Ballet. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Flashdance’ story should have stayed in the ’80s | Review," 12 July 2019 Earlier this week, the two stepped out in red and white stripes, again with Jolie in a statement-making dress and Bisset in a chic trouser ensemble. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Proves She is, In Fact, A Greek Goddess," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The ensemble drama about a group of friends whose lives were rocked by the death of one of their own returns for Season 2. oregonlive, "Fall TV 2019: Premiere dates for new shows and returning favorites," 31 Aug. 2019 Students and teachers work in teams, developing the wide spectrum of skills needed when producing a piece of musical theater, including critical thinking, problem solving, ensemble building, communication, self-confidence and interpersonal skills. Austen Erblat, sun-sentinel.com, "Four Palm Beach County elementary schools chosen for Disney musical theater program," 22 Aug. 2019 Video of Kantor's daughter talking about the project with Wooster Group founding member and ensemble luminary Kate Valk is rough-hewn and unabashedly amateurish. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "With 'A Pink Chair,' Wooster Group conjures from spirits from theater's past," 7 Apr. 2018 Grilled octopus, the decade’s most ubiquitous seafood, smartly takes an ensemble role — thinly sliced but still making its smoky presence known — alongside hearts of palm with olives, onions and capers. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The surprise at Santa Monica’s hot spot Élephante? The carb situation is on point.," 15 Aug. 2019 The same happened with some of the adults and during the ensemble songs. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "REVIEW: ‘Matilda the Musical’ has surprise twists on movie’s plot," 24 July 2019 The other ensemble members portrayed regular people, not specific Biblical personas. Brooke Coughlan, Cincinnati.com, "Cappies reviews for 'Godspell' by Roger Bacon High School," 22 July 2019 Butterworth took the stage at the Tonys to discuss the best play nominee and went off the teleprompter to shout out Donnelly for giving birth to their two children in two years while working on the ensemble drama. Washington Post, "The Latest: ‘Hadestown’ wins Tony Award for best new musical," 9 June 2019 Aided by a sterling ensemble cast of teen actors, director Andy Muschietti imbued the 2017 film with tons of atmosphere and a narrative that drew its scares as much from the idea of real-life evils as from the supernatural ones present in Derry. Aja Romano, Vox, "Watch: It Chapter Two returns with an eerie new trailer," 18 July 2019

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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Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for ensemble

The first known use of ensemble was in 1750

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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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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