Definition of orchestra
1a : the circular space used by the chorus in front of the proscenium in an ancient Greek theaterb : a corresponding semicircular space in a Roman theater used for seating important persons
2a : the space in front of the stage in a modern theater that is used by an orchestrab : the forward section of seats on the main floor of a theaterc : the main floor of a theater
3 : a group of musicians including especially string players organized to perform ensemble music — compare band
Examples of orchestra in a Sentence
He plays violin in the school orchestra.
the orchestra will be performing a selection of Beethoven pieces tomorrow night
Recent Examples of orchestra from the Web
The affable, soft-spoken Ax, though not a flamboyant performer, projected those qualities which keep Mozart fresh: fleet technique in near constant motion, a playful response to the orchestra, and sprightly melodies.
These included an orchestra gallery and images of the Alps—similar to the original Glaciarium.
Markand Thakar provided attentive partnering on the podium; the orchestra did sturdy, nicely balanced work.
She was accompanied by orchestra leader Stanley Paul on piano and Katarina Visnevska on the electric violin.
Duke Ellington led the greatest jazz orchestra for 50 years, and for 27 of them Billy Strayhorn was his indispensable musical partner.
Students at the school loved the orchestra's performance.
In addition to best costume design, best orchestra and best supporting actress awards, the show also garnered the three most coveted prizes: best musical and the awards for best actor and best actress in a musical.
The pit orchestra does right by Krieger’s wall-to-wall score.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orchestra'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of orchestra
Latin, from Greek orchēstra, from orcheisthai to dance; perhaps akin to Sanskrit ṛghāyati he trembles, he rages
First Known Use: 1606
ORCHESTRA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of orchestra for English Language Learners
: a group of musicians who play usually classical music together and who are led by a conductor
the orchestra : a group of seats in a theater that are close to the stage
ORCHESTRA Defined for Kids
Definition of orchestra for Students
1 : a group of musicians who perform instrumental music using mostly stringed instruments
2 : the front part of the main floor in a theater
History for orchestra
In ancient Greek plays the chorus danced and sang in a space in front of the stage. The Greek name for this space was orchēstra, which came from the verb orcheisthai, “to dance.” The English word orchestra came from the Greek word for the space in front of a stage. At first the English word was used to refer to such a space but is now used to mean “the front part of the main floor.” In today's theaters a group of musicians often sits in the space in front of the stage. Such a group, too, came to be called an orchestra.
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