orchestra

noun
or·​ches·​tra | \ ˈȯr-kə-strə , -ˌke-\

Definition of orchestra

1a : the circular space used by the chorus in front of the proscenium in an ancient Greek theater
b : 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 orchestra
b : the forward section of seats on the main floor of a theater
c : the main floor of a theater
3 : a group of musicians including especially string players organized to perform ensemble music — compare band

Keep scrolling for more

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 on the Web

The instrumentation for most of the pieces on this program calls for a very full orchestra, so audience members can expect to see more than 100 players on stage. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Columbia Orchestra turns to France for 40th season finale," 18 May 2018 The idea of commissioning John goes back to my desire to create a distinctive identity for this orchestra. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Morlot’s farewell tour with Seattle Symphony puts spotlight on John Luther Adams," 28 Mar. 2018 The performing arts area will be renovated and expanded to include space for the orchestra. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Westfield Washington Schools' $90 million construction project: scope, timeline, budget," 22 Jan. 2018 But the conductor for that orchestra was Red Auerbach; the players were the talented string section. Jack Mccallum, SI.com, "Go West, Big Man: The Logo on LeBron James and the Allure of Los Angeles," 11 July 2018 My Fair Lady has a complement of 29 in the orchestra, many more than the standard Broadway show. Corby Kummer, The Atlantic, "How Do Carousel and My Fair Lady Fare in 2018?," 8 July 2018 Across town at a folk art center in North London, Mr. Ward rehearsed with his orchestra. Farah Nayeri, New York Times, "109 Players. 3 Conductors. It’s Even Harder Than It Sounds.," 29 June 2018 But in a laptop orchestra, the potential for disaster is part of the delight. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Aural Magic of Stanford's Laptop Orchestra," 8 June 2018 Biggest accomplishment so far: Traveling and performing for international audiences with my high school orchestra and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Donna Vickroy And Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Class of 2018: A look at some of the Southland's extraordinary high school graduates," 19 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of orchestra

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for orchestra

Latin, from Greek orchēstra, from orcheisthai to dance; perhaps akin to Sanskrit ṛghāyati he trembles, he rages

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about orchestra

Statistics for orchestra

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for orchestra

The first known use of orchestra was in 1606

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for orchestra

orchestra

noun

English Language Learners Definition of orchestra

: a group of musicians who play usually classical music together and who are led by a conductor
US : a group of seats in a theater that are close to the stage

orchestra

noun
or·​ches·​tra | \ ˈȯr-kə-strə \

Kids Definition of orchestra

1 : a group of musicians who perform instrumental music using mostly stringed instruments
2 : the front part of the main floor in a theater

Other Words from orchestra

orchestral \ ȯr-​ˈke-​strəl \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on orchestra

What made you want to look up orchestra? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to deny responsibility for

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!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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